If you have worn any type of braces, your orthodontist may recommend a retainer. One of the most common questions patients ask after hearing this recommendation is “how do retainers work?” Understanding how this device works will make it easier for you to comply with your orthodontist’s instructions.
How Do Retainers Work?
Two different types of retainers exist – removable retainers and permanent retainers. Removable retainers fit over your teeth and can be taken out as needed. They may be made from metal or molded plastic, depending on your orthodontist’s recommendations. Permanent retainers are affixed to the back of your teeth and cannot be removed without assistance from your orthodontist.
The retainer is designed to hold your teeth in place after they have been repositioned with orthodontic treatment. Without a retainer, your teeth may begin to shift back toward their original positions, which would compromise the results of your braces.
How to Use a Retainer
Once you have the answer to the question “how do retainers work?” you may wonder how you should use these devices.
If your orthodontist recommends a permanent retainer, it will simply be attached to your teeth and will remain in place at all times. You will be instructed to brush and floss normally. If your orthodontist recommends a removable retainer, they will provide specific instructions on how the retainer should be worn. You may be asked to wear the retainer more often at the beginning of your treatment. Once some time has passed, you may only need to wear the retainer at night.
For the best results, you must use the retainer exactly as your orthodontist instructs. You should also follow your orthodontist’s instructions with regard to the cleaning and care of your retainer.
So how do retainers work? Basically, they hold your teeth in the proper place to ensure that the outcome of your orthodontic treatment is as positive as possible. To learn more or to make an appointment with an orthodontist, please contact Lake Ridge Orthodontics today.