Here’s what you need to know about orthodontic retainers.
You have your metal braces removed or finish your last clear aligners set only to be told you’ll now have to wear a retainer. While it may seem like another step to take, it is necessary if you don’t want your teeth to revert back to their original positions.
The retention process is designed to keep your teeth in proper alignment after your orthodontic treatment is complete. Think about it as less active straightening and more continued maintenance. Essentially, the retainer is there to keep your teeth straight.
Dr. Miller will fit you for a custom retainer after your braces are taken off or the bulk of your Invisalign® treatment is finished. We’ll then instruct you on when to wear the device and how to make sure it stays clean.
The type of retainer given to you by Dr. Miller following treatment completion will either be removable or permanent. We’ll take your initial need for treatment and any conditions you might have into account before choosing the retainer right for you.
Removable retainers are exactly that: they can be taken out of your mouth for eating, brushing, and flossing. These retainers are either made from bendable wire and a plastic/acrylic material or a molded clear plastic. Patients are given a retainer to fit over their top and bottom teeth.
Permanent or fixed retainers on the other hand, consist of a solid or braided wire that is curved to fit your new smile and placed on the inside of your teeth. Retainers of this type can only be removed by Dr. Miller and benefit patients whose teeth are more likely to move and “relapse” after orthodontic treatment.
Making sure your personal retainer stays clean isn’t complicated. Many patients find it most convenient to clean it at the same time they’re brushing and flossing their teeth. That way, all bases are covered.
It’s not the most appealing to have another dental appliance after your braces are removed or you’ve reached the last set of aligners. Unfortunately, it’s necessary if you want to keep your new smile! Our orthodontists in Grand Rapids, MI, can custom create a retainer just for you so it’s comfortable. Call Miller Orthodontics today at (616) 942-9320 to request an appointment and get started.