After completing your treatment with braces, you may be wondering what the next step is in your journey to getting a great smile. The answer is retainers. That’s where the experts at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Frankfort, IL come in. Schedule a meeting with us at the Oak Lawn office, and we will assist you in making sure your transition into getting a retainer is as effortless as possible.
What Do Retainers Do?
Life After Braces
A retainer is a type of orthodontic appliance given to you after completing your treatment period with braces. After removing your braces, your teeth need to be kept in place in order to ensure that they maintain proper alignment. By making sure your teeth stay in place during the adjustment period, this appliance will help ease the process of transitioning after your braces have been removed.
How Does it Work?
Retainers are specifically designed to keep the teeth in the correct position to prevent them from regressing back into misalignment and requiring further treatment. They are fashioned to maintain the teeth’s new alignment and prevent any possible change or deviation in positioning. By keeping the teeth in place, this allows the surrounding gums, muscles, and bones the time necessary to adjust to the new placement of the teeth.
Difference in Types
There are a few different types available, each uniquely designed to focus on different areas of treatment. The three main types are traditional, aligner style, and fixed. Each design has a unique set of characteristics that provides focused treatment based on your individual situation.
Traditional retainers are usually removable. They have a metal wire which surrounds the teeth and are attached to an acrylic arch that is positioned at the roof of the mouth to provide comfort and stability. The metal wire is able to be adjusted as you near the completion of your treatment.
Aligner style (also known as Essix retainers) is a clear, accommodating design that is a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to the traditional metal wire retainers.
Contrary to the metal wire design, the aligner style has the option of fitting over the entire arch of your teeth, going from canine to canine. They are made from a mold of your teeth, which allows for a seamless fit.
Fixed retainers are made of wires that are placed behind the teeth. In many cases, they are usually only needed for up to a year after having the wisdom teeth removed, but sometimes are simply left in place for life.
Do I Need One?
Retainers play a crucial role in maintaining a great smile. During the treatment period when you have your braces, the braces gently guide your teeth over a period of time into a space of proper alignment. As you transition into the next phase of treatment, the goal is to make sure that the alignment remains the same.
This will ensure that the teeth are working properly together, not overcrowding, and are not causing discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the new positioning. Doing so prevents regression and keeps your progress up.
It may take some time for you to get acclimated to the new adjustments that you’ll have to make. Following the proper safekeeping techniques will make sure that your treatment continues down the right path. There are many things to keep in mind. Here is a list of proper techniques to make sure it stays in great condition:
Much like wearing braces, you must always be sure to brush your teeth after every meal. You should also floss at least once a day. While brushing your teeth, you can keep your retainer clean by brushing it as well, using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Doing so will get rid of any leftover plaque. While cleaning, make sure you are not using hot water, and never put it in the washing machine.
The most important thing to remember is to constantly make sure that you are always wearing your retainer. Do not go any extended period of time without wearing it unless directly instructed by a doctor. Another crucial item to remember is to take it out before eating, for every meal. Once you take it out, be sure to put it back in its case and keep track of it, as it can get lost very easily. And as a final point of reminder, be sure to remove your retainer if you plan on going swimming.
Getting a retainer is a very critical step in having a healthy, radiant smile. By wearing one, you will be able to maintain your teeth so that you never have to worry about braces again. Before you know it, braces will become a thing of the past.
Get the Treatment You Need
There are many different types of retainers, and each is designed for a different purpose, so you can be sure to find one that can be tailored to your specific needs. Visit us at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Frankfort, IL today. Stop by for a consultation and let us guide you through your life after braces and choose the best retainer for you.