Retainers

Retainers keep your bite in place.

Completing a full orthodontic treatment is a great accomplishment as it takes a lot of time and dedication to do so. Once you have your braces taken off you’ll want to keep that smile looking its best, and that’s where retainers come in. Retainers are a custom made device that is used to hold your teeth in position and prevent them from shifting out of alignment. Wearing a retainer is vital to ensure success in the retention phase and avoid having to go through braces all over again.

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Types of retainers

Upon the completion of your orthodontic treatment, our orthodontists will prescribe the most suitable retainer to fit your unique needs and keep your bite in place. Following are the three main types of retainers, all of them are used to help settle your teeth in their new positions permanently:

Fixed or Bonded Retainer

These retainers are permanently bonded to the back of your teeth and are most suitable if you are recommended to wear your retainer at all times. This ensures that your teeth stay in place, especially during the first several months after the treatment is over. It can only be removed by your orthodontist at The Village Orthodontics.

Clear Retainer

A clear retainer is made of translucent plastic and molded to fit your teeth in their new position perfectly. These retainers are most common these days as they are removable and virtually invisible. It is important that you wear this type of retainer as specified because it will only work as long as you follow the instructions of your Kyle orthodontist. 

Hawley Retainer

These retainers are also called wire retainers and consist of a wire that clasps on to a plastic body that goes on the roof of your mouth for the upper arch and alongside your tongue for the lower arch. It is also removable but could be slightly bulkier than the clear retainers. While it can be more durable than clear retainers, it is more challenging to keep clean and could cause a change in speech.

How to use a retainer properly?

If you have a removable retainer, the instructions on how often and how long to wear it may vary depending on your specific case. However, for the first few months after your orthodontic treatment, a general rule of thumb for removable retainers is to wear it at all times except for eating and cleaning. 

Retainers can be very fragile and need to be handled with care. Do not store your removable retainers in your pocket. Keeping your retainers clean is crucial for its durability and your oral wellbeing. For a bonded retainer, you would clean it as a part of your regular dental hygiene routine. Since it can’t be removed for cleaning, you will have to use a Waterpik® or floss threader to floss between your teeth. Whereas for a removable retainer, you can clean it with lukewarm water, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and toothpaste after every meal. Use caution while scrubbing your retainers to avoid any abrasions or scratches. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding retainers, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. Our experienced orthodontists and team will make sure you have all the information and resources you need to take care of your smile and make sure it lasts.

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