How Do Retainers Work? A Matthews, NC, Orthodontist Explains

Home > How Do Retainers Work? A Matthews, NC, Orthodontist Explains

How Do Retainers Work? A Matthews, NC, Orthodontist Explains
Retainers in Matthews, NC
Retainers in Matthews, NC

Keeping your teeth straight after braces is important, and retainers are the way to go. Our retainers in Matthews, NC, play a crucial role in orthodontic treatments, maintaining the position and alignment of teeth after braces or corrective procedures. 

Retainers are designed to keep your teeth in position and are prescribed after orthodontics. Patients often ask questions like “How do retainers work?” to understand what they’re signing up for. Join us as we explore the mechanisms behind orthodontic retainers while answering some of your concerns. 

Retainers for Teeth: Removable vs. Fixed

At SP Orthodontics, we offer two forms of retainers: removable and fixed. Our orthodontists in Matthews, Dr. Sayania and Dr. Patel say that each type offers distinct advantages and is suited to different orthodontic needs. Let’s look at these two kinds of retainers for teeth: 

1. Removable Retainers

Removable retainers are custom-made from clear acrylic or plastic materials. They are molded to fit the patient’s teeth snugly and can be easily inserted or removed. This versatility makes them ideal for individuals who prefer the convenience of taking out their retainers for eating, brushing, or special occasions. This type of retainer is recommended for patients who have completed their treatment with braces and those with mild-to-moderate orthodontic issues. 

2. Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are affixed to the back surfaces of the teeth with dental cement. Unlike the removable ones, fixed retainers are not removable by the patient. They provide continuous support to prevent teeth from shifting out of alignment. We recommend fixed retainers to patients who require long-term stabilization following orthodontic treatments, particularly in severe crowding or misalignment cases. 

How Long Do I Wear My Retainers?

The duration of wearing your retainers depends on the specific treatment plan outlined by your orthodontist. Sometimes, you may wear a retainer permanently, while in other cases, it might be replaced with a removable one after a certain period of time. It’s best to follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing your retainers to maintain the results of your treatment.

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists might advise wearing a removable retainer almost all day for around four to six months. However, many orthodontists suggest wearing the retainer full-time for at least 9 months. After this, wearing the retainer only at night may be sufficient. To provide you with the best orthodontic care in Matthews, our orthodontist will provide guidance on how long to wear. This could range from four to twelve months or more. 

Do Retainers Hurt?

Patients may experience some soreness or discomfort with orthodontic retainers, especially in the initial period after receiving them. This discomfort is usually mild and temporary as the mouth adapts to the retainer. Patients often describe a sensation of pressure or tightness as the retainer applies gentle force to the teeth to maintain their alignment. 

How Long Do Retainers Hurt For?

The duration of discomfort with a retainer varies from person to person and depends on factors like the type of retainer being worn and individual pain tolerance. Our Matthews orthodontists say any discomfort experienced with new or adjusted retainers should resolve within a few days to a week as the mouth acclimates to the appliance. 

Taking Care of Retainers for Teeth

As part of our orthodontic care in Mattews, we advise proper maintenance and care to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of retainers. Please follow these guidelines to keep your retainers clean and in good condition: 

  • Regular Cleaning: Removable retainers should be cleaned daily using a soft toothbrush and mild soap or denture cleaner. Fixed retainers require extra attention to prevent plaque buildup, and patients may need to use floss threaders or interdental brushes to clean around the wire.
  • Avoiding Heat and Chemicals: Retainers should not be exposed to hot water or harsh chemicals, damaging the materials and compromising their integrity. Patients should also refrain from bending or manipulating the retainer, which can alter its shape and fit.
  • Proper Storage: When not in use, retainers should be stored in their case to protect them from damage and contamination. Patients should avoid leaving retainers exposed to air or sunlight for extended periods, which can lead to discoloration or warping.
  • Regular Check-ups: Patients should attend follow-up appointments with their orthodontist as scheduled to ensure the retainer is functioning correctly and make any necessary adjustments. Orthodontists may recommend periodic replacement of retainers to maintain optimal effectiveness and hygiene.
Matthew, NC Orthodontist

Teeth Aligners in Matthews, NC

In addition to our retainers in Matthews, NC, we offer custom teeth aligners for patients seeking convenient and discreet orthodontic treatment. Teeth aligners are a comfortable, virtually invisible form of straightening teeth without brackets or metal wires. We take your orthodontic care in Matthews seriously and provide retainers and teeth aligners. Contact us to schedule an appointment to speak to your Matthews orthodontist. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams with ease and confidence.

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