What is a Dental Retainer?

After undergoing an orthodontic treatment, your teeth must have achieved an aligned position. However, the surrounding bone and periodontal tissues are still adjusting to this new arrangement. Retainers help your teeth settle into their permanent positions and prevent them from relapsing back to how they were. In this article, we shall discuss the different types of retainers used by general dentistry dentist and their uses.

How Useful Are Retainers For Your Teeth?

Even after braces have straightened your teeth, they aren’t stable in their new position. For them to permanently become straight, the muscles, bones, and gums have to adjust to the new position. Regular routines such as grinding and chewing put force on your teeth, which can cause them to shift. Malocclusion can also result from teeth shifting.

For a very long period, your braces held your teeth in a straight position. If you don’t wear retainers, periodontal ligaments will cause your teeth to revert to their original positions once the braces are taken off. By keeping your teeth in their proper position, retainers help prevent them from moving. Consider it this way: Your teeth are straightened with braces, but your retainer maintains them that way.

What are the different types of dental retainers?

The two main types of retainers are:

  • Removable retainers: You can wear them only at night or when it is indicated by your dentist.
  • Fixed retainers: Permanently placed in the oral cavity

Several dental providers use a combination of permanent and fixed retainers to keep teeth straight. You could have both types at the same time. The purpose of all types of retainers is to increase the longevity of your teeth alignment

What are fixed dental retainers?

A bonding substance that resembles glue keeps fixed retainers, also known as permanent retainers, in place on your teeth. This kind of retainer cannot be taken out by the patient. These are frequently put on the top, lower, or front teeth to prevent them from gradually moving or breaking.

What are removable dental retainers?

Removable retainers can go in and out of your mouth. Traditional (Hawley) retainers have a piece of wire attached to plastic (or acrylic). Clear retainers (Essix) are also plastic but don’t have any wires. Both are custom-made to fit your teeth.

Retainers are essential for protecting the smile you achieve with an orthodontic treatment. You can make sure your teeth remain well aligned for many years to come by realizing their significance, selecting the most suitable type for you, and taking the necessary care of them.