Eberhardt Dentistry

Keep Your Teeth From Wandering With a Retainer

Are you in the business of spending $5,000 for no reason? Braces and other orthodontic procedures can incur high financial costs, even with insurance coverage. As such, wearing a retainer can help protect your financial investment by preventing your teeth from shifting after removing braces.

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, 4.5 million Americans wear braces. At the same time, millions of Americans must wear a retainer to prevent teeth from returning to their original position. You are not alone if your orthodontist recommends the use of a retainer.

What Exactly Is a Retainer?

A retainer is an orthodontic treatment to correct bite and straighten teeth over a period of time. While there are different types of retainers, including clear retainers, they are all made of strong materials such as metal and plastic. Depending on how severely misaligned a patient’s teeth are, an orthodontist may recommend wearing braces or wearing a retainer.

A retainer comes in two types: a removable or permanent retainer. Removable retainers typically come into play with straighter teeth that do not need as much correcting. This option allows for the patient to take the retainer out periodically for cleaning or comfort.

Alternatively, your orthodontist can attach the wires of a permanent retainer to the backs of your top and bottom teeth to prevent removal. Permanent retainers commonly suit patients with teeth that require heavier correcting and are more prone to a faster relapse to their original tooth position. Sometimes, a permanent retainer may represent the better option for a forgetful patient.

What Kind Of Maintenance Do Retainers Require?

Especially in the case of permanent retainers, cleaning your teeth as well as the retainer can seem complicated. You must not neglect to continually clean and care for your teeth and retainer to prevent damage from a buildup of bacteria or other harmful deposits.

Food debris can get stuck in the recesses between your teeth and the retainer, potentially causing discomfort and compromising the retainer’s longevity. Patients can avoid damaging the retainer or causing tooth decay by using mouthwash to kill bacteria and other germs. For those with removable retainers, denture cleaning solutions can also help disinfect.

Remember, your dentist can also assist with dental cleanings and x-rays to ensure your mouth is in tip-top shape. Regular dental cleanings may represent a viable solution for patients with permanent retainers concerned about unseen buildups.

What Is the Right Solution for Me?

Your orthodontist will be the best resource in determining if you need braces or a retainer. Do not neglect to consult with your orthodontist to avoid encountering any unseen medical conditions resulting from a hasty decision.

The Eberhardt Dentistry team stands ready to answer questions for anyone considering braces or retainers. Call us today at (330) 836-5585 or schedule an appointment online.