Retainers are custom-made dental devices that maintain the alignment of teeth after orthodontic treatment. They are worn after braces or Invisalign treatment is completed to keep the teeth in place and prevent them from shifting back toward their original positions.
Retainers are typically worn for a specified period, often full-time initially, then transitioned to nighttime or part-time wear according to what the orthodontist recommends. Retainers are an important part of post-treatment care and help ensure the long-term stability of orthodontic treatment results.
Types of Retainers
Our orthodontist may recommend you wear this type of removable retainer after you have completed treatment. The Hawley retainer is made from hard acrylic with metal wires. It is designed to fit on your teeth and is removable. Made with a wire that goes around the front of your teeth or premolars and fits the retainer on your back molars, this appliance helps keep the teeth in place and prevents them from shifting back out of position.
Clear Plastic Removable Retainer
This type of retainer is made from clear plastic material molded to the shape of your teeth. These retainers may also have to be worn for a few hours per day at first but, with time, should only be worn at night.
Unlike the first two types of retainers, this one is attached to the back of your teeth and sits comfortably against your gums. This type of retainer can only be removed by an orthodontist, and its fit can be adjusted as your bite shifts. This is the most effective type of retainer because it is permanently attached to your teeth, decreasing the risk of you accidentally losing it or forgetting to wear it.
The Benefits of Retainers
Stability of Teeth
After the active phase of orthodontic treatment, the teeth have been moved into their desired positions. Retainers help stabilize the teeth in these new positions, preventing them from returning to their original misaligned positions. They support and hold the teeth in place, allowing the surrounding tissues to adapt and the bone to remodel, ensuring long-term stability.
Preserving Bite Alignment
Retainers also play a role in preserving the corrected bite alignment achieved during orthodontic treatment. A stable bite is essential for proper chewing, jaw function, and oral health. The bite may shift without retainers, leading to potential discomfort and functional issues.
Retainers offer several important benefits in orthodontic treatment, contributing to the overall success and longevity of the results achieved during the active phase of treatment. For additional information about retainers, visit Smile 4 Less Orthodontics at any of our three locations in El Paso, TX, or call (915) 304-3090.