Written By Emily Taylor / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Finally, it’s the time you’ve been waiting for since the last few months - you are finally ready to get rid of your braces and show off your perfect smile. But wait, there’s still something you need to do to make sure your smile stays happy and healthy forever. Your orthodontist might ask you to wear a retainer.
What is a retainer and why you need to use it?
A retainer is a plastic/metal piece tailor-made for each patient that is fitted on the top of the teeth and mouth. It helps pull teeth back in its place.
You can blame the fact that you have to wear a retainer on genetics. It’s because of your genes you had misaligned teeth and had to wear braces to correct them. After the braces are removed, your teeth have the tendency to go back to their original position, thanks to your genetics. That’s why a retainer is prescribed to ensure that the newly corrected teeth stay in its corrected position. In fact, most people who have had braces need to wear a retainer for a little while after getting their braces taken off. Some people wear them to close gaps in their teeth and help with their speech problems.
After a few months of wearing retainers fulltime, you might only have to wear them at night. The duration of your treatment will depend on your teeth situation and what course your orthodontist takes to correct it.
Types Of Retainers
Retainers, like braces, are varied. Here are the types of retainers you can choose from:
Removable Hawley Wire Retainers
These are the most commonly used and widely recognized retainers. They are made from a molded acrylic arch and wire which are then customized to the wearer’s mouth and they can be adjusted according to the wearer’s needs. Hawley wire retainers are removable, so they can be taken out when you want to eat and brush your teeth. This ensures that plaque doesn’t build up on your retainers and cause gum diseases or dental caries.
Essix Plastic Retainers
An Essix retainer is a removable retainer that is made of transparent plastic. Benefits of these transparent plastic retainers are that they encourage good dental hygiene as you can take them out while you brush and floss. Essix plastic retainers can cover the entire arch of the teeth and are uniquely molded to the shape of your mouth.
Permanent retainers are considered “permanent” because only an orthodontist can remove them, and you can’t. These are bonded to the back of your teeth and are placed on the upper and lower teeth, depending on what is needed. Though these retainers are more difficult to clean, brush and floss, they can last for years if you maintain them properly.
Ask your orthodontist to give you guidance regarding the effectiveness of each option but you should ask yourself questions like how visible you want the retainers to be or are you fine with permanent retainers instead of temporary ones. Depending on your preferences and your teeth situation, the orthodontist will prescribe you the retainers that suit you the best.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno, Calif. as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She writes about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether it is ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile to Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.