Blog 10 Things You Should Know About Having Dental Retainers

10 Things You Should Know About Having Dental Retainers

After undergoing orthodontic treatment, you have to take the necessary steps to maintain the alignment of your teeth and ensure long-term stability with dental retainers.

To do so– you have to understand the importance of retainers and how to care for them properly. This is to preserve the results achieved during your orthodontic journey. Here are some key points you should know about dental retainers:


Retainers Keep Your Teeth From Moving

Retainers play an important role in the stabilization phase of orthodontic treatment. After braces or aligners are removed, the teeth are still prone to shifting as the surrounding bone and soft tissues adjust.

Retainers ensure that the teeth settle into their new positions and remain there. Without retainers, there is a higher risk of relapse, which can undo the progress achieved during treatment.

You Can Get Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers, also known as bonded or permanent retainers, are small wires that are bonded to the back of the teeth. They provide a more permanent solution for maintaining the teeth’s alignment. Fixed retainers are carefully placed by the orthodontist and require extra attention during brushing and flossing to ensure proper cleaning around the wires and brackets.

Fixed retainers offer continuous retention without the need for active compliance. They are discreet and provide a long-term solution for maintaining the corrected tooth positions.

However, they require special care to ensure optimal oral hygiene. Individuals with fixed retainers should use floss threaders or interdental brushes to clean between the wires and the teeth. Regular dental check-ups are also essential to monitor the condition of the fixed retainer and address any issues promptly.

An orthodontist in Arlington, VA can help you with fixed retainers if you opt for this kind of retainers. Kumra Orthodontics provides affordable dental retainers for all ages.

The Duration Of Wearing Retainers Varies For Each Individual

Initially, wearing the retainer full-time helps ensure that the teeth settle into their new positions. As the stabilization period progresses, the orthodontist may recommend transitioning to nighttime wear. Compliance with the prescribed wearing schedule is important if you want to maintain the orthodontic treatment results.

You Need To Clean Your Retainers Regularly

Removable retainers should always be cleaned daily using a toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. When cleaning, brush all surfaces of the retainer– including the inner and outer sides.

In addition to daily cleaning, periodic soaking in denture cleaner or retainer cleaning solutions can help remove stubborn plaque or stains. Proper cleaning of retainers helps prevent the buildup of bacteria, plaque, and odors.

Store Your Retainers Well

Storing the retainer in its protective case when not in use helps ensure its safety and hygiene. The case provides a secure and designated place for the retainer, reducing the risk of loss or damage. Keeping the case clean and free from debris also helps maintain the retainer’s cleanliness and effectiveness.

Retainers Are Delicate

Retainers can break or become damaged, especially if they are not handled or cared for properly. Accidental dropping, excessive bending, or chewing on the retainer can lead to cracks, fractures, or detachment of the wires. So, avoid any activities that may put the retainer at risk and notify the orthodontist if any damage occurs for appropriate repairs or replacements.

There May Be Pain And Discomfort

During the initial days of wearing your retainers, it’s very normal to experience some discomfort or difficulty in speaking. The mouth and tongue need time to adjust to the presence of the retainer. Excess saliva production is also common as the mouth adapts.

However, if the discomfort persists or becomes unbearable, it’s advisable to seek guidance from the orthodontist to ensure proper fit and alignment of the retainer.

Don’t Skip Oral Hygiene Practices

While retainers play an important role in maintaining tooth alignment, they are not a replacement for regular oral hygiene practices. Brushing and flossing should be continued as normal, and regular dental check-ups should be maintained.

And, the retainer should always be removed during brushing and flossing and cleaned separately using the recommended techniques. Good oral hygiene habits contribute to overall dental health and help prevent complications during orthodontic treatment.

Retainers Are Usually For Long-Term Use

In most cases, wearing retainers for the long term is recommended to maintain the stability of the corrected tooth positions. While the wearing schedule may be gradually reduced over time, wearing retainers for a certain duration each day or night is often advised indefinitely.

This extended retainer usage helps minimize the risk of relapse and ensures that the teeth maintain their alignment in the long run.

You May Have To Have Your Retainers Adjusted From Time To Time

An ill-fitting or uncomfortable retainer may not provide adequate retention, increasing the likelihood of relapse. The orthodontist may assess the retainer from time to time and make any necessary adjustments or provide a replacement to ensure its effectiveness and the stability of the corrected tooth positions.

Consult With Your Orthodontist For A More Effective Retainer Treatment

Each individual’s orthodontic journey is unique, and your orthodontist is the best resource for personalized advice and guidance regarding dental retainers. Trust and follow your orthodontist’s expertise to achieve and maintain that healthy, beautiful smile of yours!

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