You have worked hard for your beautiful smile. Keep it that way!
Your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful! However, your orthodontic journey is not quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you will have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results.
Retainers are needed to limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of retainers
Retainers are custom-made from a mold of your newly aligned teeth. They can be removable or fixed.
- Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth.
- Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers.
- Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the teeth. While the retainer may be required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.
Pros and cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily.
- Fixed retainers are great if you do not want to worry about keeping track of removable retainers or the amount of hours they need to be worn.
- Teeth with fixed retainers require extra attention to remove tartar and while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers must use floss threaders to pass the floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.