Do I Really Need a Dental Retainer?

The best orthodontist El Cerrito has available will recommend you to wear a dental retainer following your phase 2 orthodontic treatment. We know many patients feel some reservations when they hear there’s still more to do.

But trust us; wearing your dental retainer is crucial for the results you get from orthodontic treatment.

Your orthodontic care requires a lot of dedication and time. We have to ensure that all that effort doesn’t go to waste; dental retention protects your hard-earned results!

The team here at Estes Orthodontics will always explain every detail of your treatment plan before we begin, so you’ll know what to expect. However, we wanted to make sure our readers also had the information they require to make an informed decision.

Let’s talk about dental retention and how you can get yours from an orthodontic retainer El Cerrito provider like Estes Orthodontics.

What Is a Dental Retainer?

You might already be familiar with several other orthodontic appliances used to align a patient’s teeth and jaws.

People usually know about traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, and clear aligners. There are even other appliances we can use depending on a patient’s age and day-to-day activities.

And then there is the orthodontic retainer.

Unlike the other appliances we mentioned, these won’t progressively shift your teeth’ position. Braces simultaneously push and pull your teeth to achieve an appropriate relationship between your jaws and the rest of your body; however, a dental retainer just makes sure your teeth don’t move.

Why Do You Need A Dental Retainer?

The principle behind an orthodontic treatment is to realign your dental structures. To that end, your jawbone weakens, and your teeth change positions.

After your teeth reach the ideal position, the base will still be a little weak, and your teeth could slide back into their previous position.

We use an orthodontic retainer to prevent a situation called “orthodontic relapse.” As your jawbone solidifies, there’s a chance your teeth might slide back into position, and a dental retainer prevents that situation.

According to this study, any dental retention method you use will have to result from a careful consideration of your circumstances. No two treatment plans are the same, and we’ll make sure to do everything we can to protect the results obtained through your specialized care.

When you have your retainers, you’ll have to wear them according to your orthodontist’s instructions. As you continue to use your retainers, your teeth will stay in the desired position, and you will gradually stop wearing them all day long.

The Various Types of Retainers

By the time you finish your treatment with any type of braces or clear aligners, we will recommend you use a set of retainers. Just as with other orthodontic appliances, there are different types of retainers you can choose from.

We’ll make a recommendation based on specific criteria, but it wouldn’t hurt you know what to expect. The two main types of retainers include permanent and removable ones.

Removable Dental Retainers

As the name implies, these are removable trays you can take off whenever you wish. Remember that you shouldn’t remove your orthodontic retainers just because; orthodontic relapse is more common among patients who don’t use removable retainers properly.

If a patient doesn’t wear the appliance as intended, the retainers won’t work.

Ideally, you would remove retainers for a meal or when you have to clean your teeth. Removable retainers are much better for your dental hygiene because they never get in the way of proper oral hygiene routines.

The downside is that you may lose your retainers. When people go out to grab a bite, they may remove their retainers, wrap them in a napkin, and set them aside.

Food court trays and napkins are some of your retainer’s worst enemies!

So many patients come back saying they accidentally tossed away their retainers. So please remember to put your retainers safely away in their case when you take them off.

Permanent Dental Retainers

If an Albany orthodontist has reasons to believe the patient is at an increased risk of suffering from orthodontic relapse, they’ll recommend a permanent dental retainer.

Your dental alignment specialist will bond a wire that can only be removed within a dental office setting to prevent your teeth from shifting positions. Fortunately, the wire goes on the lingual side of your teeth (which is the side that remains out of view when you smile).

Permanent retainers help minimize the risk of orthodontic relapse; it’s far more resilient than a removable one and should not impact your speech.

There are also a couple of downsides you should consider. The main point is that keeping your oral hygiene will still be challenging. You will need to be even more attentive to brushing your teeth.

You can also use a floss threader to remove all leftover food particles and protect your teeth from plaque buildup.

Get Help From the Best Orthodontist El Cerrito Has Available

The team at Estes Orthodontics will be thrilled to have you in our Albany office and help you out with your orthodontic treatment.

When you need help with your retainers, we will be here to help you out. Please remember to follow your specialist’s instructions to avoid the risk of tooth decay and orthodontic relapse.

Get your orthodontic retainer with us and secure your hard-earned results now by setting an appointment online.

Dr. Estes and her team are committed to ensuring each patient and their families receive excellent care using state-of-the-art treatment options.