Keeping your teeth straight is a breeze with retainers! Orthodontists have designed this common form of orthodontic treatment to set those pearly whites firmly in place, letting you show off that smile without worry. Depending on the size and shape of your teeth and mouth, there are several types available: from metal wires and brackets to plastic trays – find one best for you today!
A retainer for teeth is an orthodontic treatment that can help to keep teeth aligned, in their desired positions, and maintain the results of teeth straightening treatments. Retainers are typically made of metal wires, brackets and/or plastic trays. Depending on the teeth shape and size of your teeth, different types of retainers may be recommended to you by your dentist or orthodontist.
The orthodontic treatment works by applying pressure on the teeth to help them stay in place. This pressure helps keep teeth from shifting back to their original positions and keeps them aligned, allowing for improved oral health and aesthetics.
Teeth retainers are therefore vastly different from mouth guards, if you are looking to protect your teeth instead, learn more about mouth guards here.
Every individual’s teeth, jawline, and smile are unique. Depending on your particular needs, there are different types of retainers available to help you achieve the desired results.
The most common teeth retainers are:
The fixed retainer is placed behind the teeth and held in place with a band or bonding material. It works by applying pressure on the teeth to help them stay in place, thus preventing them from shifting back to their original positions. This type of retainer is permanent and must be worn for the recommended period of time as determined by your dentist.
Fixed retainers ensure that your teeth straightening efforts are maintained. But fret not, in most cases, fixed retainers will eventually be swapped out for removable ones that have to be worn for a minimum number of hours per day.
The removable clear aligners are trays made out of plastic that fit over the teeth. These aligners are custom-made to fit each individual’s teeth, so they provide a snug and comfortable fit. This type of retainer is perfect for those who do not want to have a wire and bracket on their teeth.
The removable aligners are much easier to maintain than the fixed retainers, with only occasional brushing required. Unlike the fixed ones, these aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. However, they must still be worn for the recommended period of time as determined by your dentist.
Retainers are not meant to be used as a teeth straightening treatment method, but rather to maintain the results of other treatments. While retainers can help keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions, they are not effective when it comes to correcting more severe problems such as crooked teeth. For those types of issues, more advanced treatments such as braces or clear aligners might be recommended instead.
Ultimately, it will depend on the severity and complexity of your individual case that will determine which treatment is best for you. Your dentist or orthodontist can help you decide which option is right for you and provide advice on how to make the most out of your teeth retainer.
Similar to crooked teeth, flared teeth are a more complex issue and require more advanced treatments such as braces or clear aligners to correct. Retainers may be used for mild cases of flared teeth, but when it comes to more severe cases, alternative treatments should be discussed with your dentist.
Retainers can cause some discomfort, especially when first being worn. To reduce the soreness and make them more comfortable, it is best to start off with a light pressure setting on the retainer and gradually increase the pressure as your teeth get used to the new position. Additionally, using an oral anesthetic gel or over-the-counter pain reliever can alleviate any discomfort caused by the retainers. Finally, make sure to visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly so that they can check on how well the retainer is fitting and adjust it accordingly.
Wear your retainer for the recommended amount of time as determined by your dentist or orthodontist. While it may be tempting to remove them as they cause soreness, removing them could cause your teeth to move back to their crooked position.
Visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly to have the fit of your retainers checked and adjusted as needed. This helps ensure that you are getting the most out of your retainer and that it is fitting properly.
Remove the retainer when eating, drinking (anything other than water) and brushing your teeth. This is to prevent staining and discoloration of the retainer.
Keep retainers away from heat sources such as radiators or direct sunlight to prevent them from warping.
Clean your retainers regularly with a soft bristled brush and antibacterial soap or mouthwash. This helps to remove any stains and odor-causing bacteria.
Use a retainer box to store your retainers when not in use. This helps to keep them clean, safe and secure.
Your dentist or orthodontist will typically recommend that you wear your teeth retainer for at least 6 months after completing any teeth straightening treatment. It is important to follow their instructions carefully and make sure to wear the retainer for the prescribed number of hours per day.
After the initial 6 months, your dentist may recommend wearing the retainer for a certain number of days each week or even just on occasions when you notice that your teeth have shifted. This will help maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment and prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.
Although the retainer itself does not cause discolouration on teeth, plaque may accumulate around metal wires can lead to decay and staining. However, this only happens if the retainer is not cleaned properly and regularly or you are not brushing your teeth thoroughly enough.
Interdental brushes can be a great tool for cleaning teeth and preventing plaque buildup around fixed retainers. Interdental brushes are thin, cylindrical toothbrushes that have tightly packed bristles that can fit between teeth and help remove food particles and plaque from hard-to-reach areas. They are specifically designed for cleaning around braces and fixed retainers. Regular use of these brushes in combination with regular brushing and flossing can help to prevent staining and decay caused by fixed retainer wires.
Ask our dentists for more tools and tips to keep your teeth clean while wearing aligners.
Yes, it is possible to wear retainers after wisdom teeth removal. Your dentist or orthodontist will likely recommend that you wait until the area has completely healed before wearing your retainer again. This may take anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on the complexity of the surgery and how quickly you heal.
Once your dentist or orthodontist has deemed it safe to start wearing your retainer again, they may recommend that you wear it for a few extra weeks after the healing process is complete. This will help ensure that your teeth do not shift back to their original positions while the area around your wisdom teeth continues to heal and settle.
The cost of teeth retainers in Singapore can vary depending on the type, materials and complexity of the retainer. Generally speaking, clear plastic aligners are usually more affordable than fixed metal retainers.
At WeSmile Dental, we are a team of highly experienced dentists, and are also dedicated to providing quality dental care that is accessible for everyone. This includes creating custom teeth retainers at affordable prices.