Retainer Wear and All About the Retention Period After Dental Braces

Woman smiling showing teeth retainerIrregularly spaced teeth can make you lose confidence. Similarly, protruding or poorly aligned teeth — no matter how clean and white — may affect other people’s impression of you. Some orthodontic dental also have health consequences, and others lead to functional difficulties such as chewing and speaking. Perhaps you are familiar with braces and how they work. Do you know enough about retainers?

Retainers after braces

People wearing braces are aware that they may have to wear retainers after removal of their braces. The main purpose of wearing retainers is to prevent the backsliding of the teeth. As the name suggests, retainers keep the new alignment together. Without retainers, teeth may wiggle around. Each retainer is customized to fit the mouth of the wearer.

The teeth push forward as a person matures and the bone adjusts to changes. The lower teeth may crowd together, too. This is another reason retainers may be worn for a few years after braces are over.

The period of retention

Post-brace retainers are worn day and night, but the specific schedule depends on the case and the goals of orthotic management. Before being completely free of your retainers, there may be a period when you will have to wear it only during the night. In some cases, you may have to wear retainers while sleeping as well. The dentist will determine whether you can phase out retainer use.

Retainer types

Customized ortho appliances are specifically made to fit the person. Every retainer produced and orthodontic laboratory is ready for fitting. The retainers you will have may be removable — the Hawley type, which consists of metal wire and acrylic piece. Some retainers are made of clear plastic and known in dental medicine as vacuum-formed retainers. The latter, however, is not adjustable.

Correcting alignment problems with orthodontic devices has proven to be an effective method. Make the most of the available technology when a dentist recommends retainers.