While the idea of wearing a retainer may be off-putting to some patients, it is actually necessary if you want to preserve your newly straightened smile. You have invested a lot of time and money in improving you’re your teeth’s alignment, so wearing a retainer ensures that you can reap the rewards of your efforts.

What Is an Orthodontic Retainer?

If you want to ensure the alignment of your teeth, it is imperative that you continue to wear a retainer. As the name suggests, a retainer “retains” the alignment of the teeth. Therefore, the retainer is used to hold your teeth in their new places. The appliances maintain tooth alignment by the making of an impression of the newly aligned teeth and gums. This impression is sent to a lab where the retainer will be made.

What Are the Differences between a Fixed Retainer and a Removable Retainer?

A fixed retainer consists of a thin wire that we cement onto the back of the upper or lower teeth in the front. The bonding replaces the brackets of the braces you wore. A removable retainer is made of a combination wire and acrylic base that features clasps or hooks to keep the teeth in position. This retainer is first worn every day for three months before it is worn permanently at night. To take care of a removable retainer, brush the appliance with a soft-bristle brush and mildly abrasive dentifrice. Soak the retainer in a denture cleanser that contains antibacterial ingredients and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. To remove bacteria, soak the retainer in water and vinegar. If you have a fixed retainer, floss by inserting the thread through interproximal spaces between the teeth, moving it sideways and up and down to get rid of debris. Use the same approach with flossing as you did with your braces. Some fixed retainers last up to 20 years, which testifies to their usefulness. If you need orthodontic care, a retainer will ensure that straightening your teeth is well worth the effort. Give our team of professionals a call today concerning any of your orthodontic needs.