What are orthodontic retainers? How do they work?

Orthodontic treatments do not end as soon as the braces come off. After getting your teeth straightened out with dental braces, you will need to give your jawbone and teeth enough time to get them fixed into their new place. This is where retainers come in hand. Retainers (as their name imply) help to retain the teeth in their new place. That is why dentists give their patients retainers when they get their braces taken off.

What is an orthodontic retainer?

Retainers are custom-made devices that help to hold teeth in their new position after orthodontic treatment. These usually need to be worn all day for an extended period to give the surrounding tissue enough time to adapt to the new position of the teeth.

Types of retainers

In dentistry, we have three types of retainers. All of them do their job to keep the teeth in their new place, so it is up to each patient’s preferences and habits to choose the one they want. 

Hawley retainers: These are the oldest types of retainers; they are made of wires and acrylic and are strong. However, most people tend to lean into other types of retainers since these are not that aesthetically pleasing. 

Bonded retainers: Bonded retainers are retainers that get glued into the patient’s teeth. These may be good options for patients who do not want to wear removable retainers, but they also tend to break easily compared to the other two options.

Clear retainers: These are the most popular types of retainers nowadays since they are clear and not as noticeable as the other ones. 


How to use orthodontic retainers

Dentists may give different instructions to different patients since every case is unique. Some people may only need to wear one retainer, others are asked to wear them all day, and others are told to wear them at night.

How long do you need to wear dental retainers after getting your braces removed?

The total time of use of retainers depends on each specific case. Some people need to wear the retainers for as little as 5 months, other people need to wear them for a whole year, and there are even people who need to wear their retainers indefinitely. You will need to talk and follow your dentist’s instructions to keep your teeth as straight as the day you had your braces taken out.

What happens if I stop wearing my retainer?

If you stop wearing your retainers before your orthodontist has told you to, your teeth can shift back to their former position (known as relapsing). It does not matter that your teeth look straight and that you do no longer need to wear brackets, you must continue your orthodontics instructions for the whole time.

Taking care of retainers

We have already covered this topic in a past article, but the list of the best methods to clean dental retainers are: 

  • Scrubbing the retainers with neutral soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Using a vinegar solution and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Using over-the-counter effervescent tablets.

Where can I get dental retainers near me in Phoenix, Arizona?

If you need braces or new dental retainers, you can come to Somos Dental. At Somos Dental, we are known as the place with the most affordable braces in whole Phoenix. You can call us at our phone number 623-404-9258. You can also get a free appointment by filling our online form here. We have six locations through the Phoenix Metro area at Downtown Phoenix, Avondale, Desert Sky Mall, Laveen, Camelback, and Mesa.  

Get a free laptop when you prepay your braces for only $1,999

We wanted to give the best present that it can be given, the presence of a beautiful white smile. In Somos Dental you can get a free laptop when you prepay your braces.You can schedule your appointment by filling our online form, which will also give you a free diagnostic appointment, so you get your braces while also taking care of your finances.

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