WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIC RETAINER?
Congratulations on achieving your perfect smile!
Now, it's time to advance to the next stage: retainers.
An orthodontic retainer is a custom made appliance to keep your teeth aligned and stable after orthodontic treatment, or after they have been straightened with Invisalign or braces.
Teeth have a natural tendency to shift throughout your lifetime and research has shown that wearing retainers can help you to maintain your transformed smile for good.
BENEFITS OF WEARING RETAINERS
Retainers don't just help you to maintain a perfect smile — they are also known to benefit you in other ways.
Maintains Your Beautiful Smile
Wearing your retainers on a regular basis will help you to maintain your straightened teeth after Invisalign treatment or braces. However, you must be disciplined to wear them regularly, or you may have to restart the entire straightening process again.
Helps with Speech Impediments
If you have difficulty in pronouncing certain words due to your teeth placement, retainers can help with your speech. Retainers can also correct tongue thrust, a speech impediment where the tongue finds its way through the teeth when you talk.
A lesser known advantage of retainers is that it can help with breathing. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, special types of retainers are used to not only help straighten teeth or align jaws, but for problems involving snoring or breathing at night.
Aids in Digestion
Wearing retainers can help to improve digestion by maintaining a set of straight teeth for you to easily chew food into smaller pieces.
TYPES OF RETAINERS
At Dentists Co, we provide mainly two types of retainers: removable and fixed retainers.
Clear and Comfortable Retainers
These removable clear plastic retainers are virtually "invisible" and are laser cut to fit to your teeth perfectly. Vivera Retainers are 40% resistant to breakage, and harder as compared to other clear retainers. This is a suitable option for those who have a habit of grinding their teeth at night.
"Old School" Traditional Retainers
Hawley retainers are removable and made with a stiff metal wire and an acrylic plate. They are designed to fit the roof of your mouth or along the inside of your lower teeth.
Lingual Bonded Retainers
Hassle-free Fixed Retainers
A lingual bonded retainer is a more permanent or fixed type of retainer as it is glued to the back of your teeth (usually from the left to right canines). This bonded thin metal wire gives you the extra assurance that these teeth won’t shift.
AFTERCARE FOR YOUR RETAINERS
Getting Used to Your Fitting
New retainers will take up several hours to a couple of days to complete the fitting.
You may experience some speech differences at the beginning with your retainers. It will take around 2-3 weeks to get used to them and to speak normally. Some may also experience an increase of saliva flow for about a week.
It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort, but If the pain is due to the rough surface on your retainers or sharp edges, consult your dentist immediately.
Looking After Your Retainers
Remove your retainers when you are eating (except for fixed retainers) and keep your retainers clean. Do not expose your retainers to high heat or soak it in hot water as this can make it deformed.
If you are playing sports, remove your retainers for your personal safety.
Retainers are to be worn full time (20-22 hours) for 4-6 months or as advised by your dentist after your Invisalign treatment or the removal of your braces.
Subsequently, you may wear your retainer nightly (8-10 hours) for a lifetime to keep your smile straight.
For removable retainers, brush your retainers once a day with a toothbrush to eliminate plaque and odour. Do not soak your retainers in any denture cleaners or mouthwash as it may cause discolouration.
If you happen to lose your retainers, please contact us immediately for a replacement.
At Dentists Co, you can also opt for our Digital Retainer Program where we keep your last scanned teeth images. Feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more about the program.
Retainers should last for at least 2 years. They may also need to be replaced from typical wear and tear occasionally.
No, but wearing them will help you to maintain reasonably good teeth alignment throughout your life.
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