Orthodontic RetainersPinehurst, NC
A common misconception about teeth-straightening treatments is that the teeth will remain in a new position afterward without any chance of shifting back into the old position. While the teeth can gradually shift back into the improper alignment, it will be most likely to happen in the first few months following the straightening treatment. This is where an orthodontic retainer comes into play.
Benefits of Orthodontic Retainers
By offering patients in Pinehurst, NC, and the surrounding areas orthodontic retainers, the team at Henry Orthodontics is able to help patients maintain an aligned set of teeth. Retainers help to keep the teeth in the proper position without causing pain. Along with that, there are various forms of retainers to choose from.
Our retainers are a useful orthodontic device for patients of varying ages including children, teens and adults.
Since the teeth, even adult teeth, can shift from their new position back into misalignment, retainers are an efficient orthodontic treatment to prevent it. While people may assume this means once again wearing an orthodontic device that limits one’s diet and requires extra oral hygiene, they may be surprised. There are two main types of retainers, removable retainers and permanent retainers.
While there may be some restrictions, they are not nearly as taxing as with other orthodontic treatments. Benefits of orthodontic retainers include:
- Helping to maintain a uniform smile
- Not needing much effort from the patient to keep proper alignment
- Minimal cleaning and care necessary
- Professional repair and support from our team
- Possibility for removable retainer only worn while asleep
The type of retainer the patient receives will depend on the patient’s age, level of responsibility and overall condition of their teeth. In many cases, older patients at least in their teens will be able to avoid having to wear it during the day.
An Important Follow-up to Teeth Straightening
The main reason for wearing a retainer is that it can take up to six months for the new position of the teeth to become permanent. In many cases, people who grind their teeth or do not take care of them with proper hygiene can cause them to begin to shift back out of alignment. It is becoming more common for people to continue wearing their retainer well after the first six months following teeth straightening treatment.
Known as relapse, the teeth shifting back into the crooked or misaligned position is the major reason for wearing a retainer. With a removable retainer that has certain components, a patient will be able to keep for years without any need for changes.
Types of Retainers
Along with being removable or remaining in the mouth, retainers can have various structures of different materials. These materials include:
- Metal wire
- Combination of both
This retainer can also be known as a lingual, wired, fixed or bonded retainer that remains in the mouth. The retainer will sit right behind the teeth on the upper or lower arch of the mouth. While this version is not hard to misplace, it is difficult to keep clean since plaque and tartar can build up on it if the patient does not take care of it.
This version is sturdy and can last for years but may also cause other problems if one does not clean it properly. In some cases, the teeth can still shift over time, even with this retainer in place.
Clear Plastic Retainers
While plastic retainers are removable and are clear when covering the teeth, they are not always as durable as the other options. Due to this, people may need to replace these on an annual basis. However, they are custom fitted to the individual patient’s teeth and can stay in place more efficiently than other options.
Cleaning these retainers is not too difficult since they are removable and easily brushed when the patient brushes their teeth.
The Hawley retainer is a combination of both metal and plastic, being a removable option. This retainer mostly consists of plastic with a metal wire that goes over the row of teeth. The retainer can last anywhere from one to 20 years with proper care. Since it is removable, people can also take it out to eat and brush their teeth.
Many people can wear this type of retainer while they sleep instead of all day. Proper care for the retainer is not difficult and merely requires softly brushing with a toothbrush when cleaning teeth. In order to determine which retainer option will work best for you or your loved one’s needs, call us and schedule an appointment today.
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