When we think of a perfect smile – straight, aligned teeth are the first thing that comes to mind. Unfortunately, lots of us aren’t naturally blessed with perfect teeth, so we have to use methods to get them there! Dental retainers are the dental appliances which follow up from braces to make sure your perfectly straight teeth stay straight.
Dental retainers are a dental appliance which is used once the wires and brackets of your braces are removed, to solidify the straightening process. This phase is called the retention phase, which helps the teeth, gums and surrounding tissues to become comfortable with the adjustment to your orthodontic treatment.
There are different variations of retainer, which differ in material and usage. The most common types are metal removable, clear plastic removable and fixed metal. Usually, the kind of retainer you have depends on your dental circumstances, as well as your budget and preferences. You usually wear your retainer on a regular basis for a year after your orthodontic treatment and then on a nightly basis for a period time depending on what you need.
Following your orthodontic treatment, we will work with you to decide on a dental retainer. Your dental circumstances will be considered first, but we will also want you to have your preferred choice, if at all possible. Our patients’ comfort and care are at the heart of everything we do. There is a different process depending on the retainer you have fitted, which are as follows:
Hawley retainer – this is a removable retainer which is made of a metal wire which crosses the front of your teeth; this wire is attached to an acrylic arch which sits in the roof of the mouth (i.e. palate). These are fitted piece by piece as part of a fitting appointment.
Invisible retainer – this is a removable type of retainer made of clear plastic which covers the whole of your teeth. Invisible retainers are favoured by those that want a more discreet look. To have one fitted, a mould of your teeth will be taken, which is then used as a template for your retainer, ensuring a comfortable fit.
Fixed retainer – as the name suggests, a fixed retainer cannot be removed, it is made of a wire which runs behind your teeth. It is an ideal choice for those that have suffered from incisor misalignment in the past. These are fitted piece by piece as part of a fitting appointment.
The main benefit of dental retainers is that they keep your teeth straight after orthodontic treatment and make the time you’ve spent wearing braces worthwhile. However, it also has some other (less obvious) benefits:
- Help you to stop snoring
- Prevent speech impediment
- Straight teeth help to improve your oral hygiene
If you want excellent Dental Retainers to follow on from your braces, book an appointment with us today! Alternatively, you can get in touch with our team – they’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!