Sometimes, a beautiful smile does not depend on no cavities or tooth decay-free condition of your teeth and the only help your smile needs is the perfect alignment of teeth. And while the braces are the usual remedy, retainers also play a major role in helping your teeth stay in proper configuration. Dental retainers are orthodontic appliance (removable or fixed) sometimes made of wire, clasps and plastic. It is designed to realign teeth into an even and straight arrangement. Usually, orthodontists recommend the use of retainers as a follow up treatment for patients who have just removed their braces. While braces have reinforced the process of realigning teeth into permanent positions, a retainer complete this process by being in the final stage so orthodontists prescribe wearing of it for a period of time.
Retainers are also being used to correct an underbite or overbite condition of a patient’s teeth. While the individual teeth is being aligned properly, retainers also help to bring the upper and lower sets of teeth into natural alignment so the either the upper or lower lip of the patient does not appear too forward with the rest of the face features. Dental retainers should fit snugly over the teeth so that while it promotes proper teeth alignment, it will settle the slight gaps in between teeth.
Before, retainers are bulky and uncomfortable for a patient to wear so it is very common for patients who have braces to be tempted not to follow up with retainers especially during the first months after removing braces. If not properly monitored, the teeth will shift back into its problematic position and the patient might have to wear braces again so it is strongly advisable to follow the orthodontist’s instruction as to how often a retainer should be worn. But advances in construction of dental retainers have made it possible to create different types of retainers so as to serve its purpose.
The most durable and time tested removable retainer is referred to as the Hawley. Its wires can be adjusted if teeth begin to move. Another type is called an Essix made of clear plastic matrix. It improves aesthetics and is not too bulky but it is inconvenient for some patients because of the need for removal during eating. Other orthodontists recommend fixed or permanent retainers. Actually, fixed retainers do not really have to be worn for life. Typically, they are maintained for several years. This type of retainer requires a meticulous daily oral hygiene measures because it can promote accumulation of plaque and forming of cavities which may only worsen the condition of teeth.
Patients who have retainers must observe regular checking of the fit of their retainers with their orthodontists and ensure proper oral hygiene. There should be extra care in handling and caring for retainers as they are not usually cheap not to mention that it is inconvenient for a patient to undergo measuring and fitting.
What is good about retainers is that while it is doing its hard work, the patient may give a beautiful smile as it is acceptable and normal, though sometimes may stir curiosity among others, to see a wired grin. More than that, the objective of being able to smile with properly aligned teeth one day motivates the patient to stick with the orthodontist’s instructions. Absolutely, retainers can help you achieve a really beautiful smile. In fact, it can improve the shape of your face as well.