When your dentist starts discussing retainers with you, it can be an exciting time. Retainers signify that the time is near when you will have your braces removed. Once the braces are out of your mouth, a retainer is fitted to ensure that the newly aligned teeth settle into place and don't start growing at different angles again. There are three main types of retainers you can use; this article looks at these types and briefly examines the different pros and cons of each retainer.
This style of retainer is permanent and cannot be taken out of your mouth unless it is removed by a dentist. The retainer is usually made from stainless steel and is fixed to the backside of the tooth; only the middle six teeth at the front of the mouth have the retainer bonded to them. The bond is usually a type of glue.
One of the biggest advantages of permanent retainers is the fact that they are almost invisible to other people and this is also the main reason that they are so popular. After wearing braces for so long that everyone can see, it is a massive relief to be able to remove them and have your teeth free of visible wiring. Permanent retainers continue the work done by the braces in a manner that is inconspicuous.
A molded retainer is created from an impression of a patient's teeth. This type of retainers is usually made from a kind of plastic and can be slipped over the teeth and taken out with ease.
However, a molded retainer will not allow your top teeth to naturally sit in place with the bottom teeth as the plastic prevents this. This gives some people a feeling of discomfort. If not properly cleaned, then liquid can become trapped between the retainer and the tooth. A good benefit of this style of retainer is that it is very hard for others to see that you are wearing one.
Acrylic & Wire Retainer
Probably the most popular type of retainer, this type is made from bendable wire and acrylic or plastic. The wire is placed over the teeth and the acrylic is made from a mold of the patient's upper mouth. It is easy for the dentist to adjust this retainer and it is also easy to clean. One downside, however, is that is is fairly noticeable that you are wearing a retainer and it can take a little practice to sound normal when speaking while wearing one.
Many people are required to wear their retainers, on a part-time basis for life, therefore it is important that you consider each type carefully and choose the right one for you. For more information about your options, contact a cosmetic dentistry near you.