Retainers are the final stage in orthodontics treatment. They help by keeping your teeth in their new location while your gums become used to the adjustment in your bone structure, in order to prevent your teeth and jaw from reverting back to their previous positions. This means that retainers are extremely important!
There are two main types of retainers, removable and fixed. Speaking to a professional such as Dr. Derek E. Brown (DDs, MS, PC) is the best way to decide which retainer type is best for you, but here as some basic guidelines:
Removable retainers are typically made of a clear plastic which is molded to fit snugly around your teeth. There are also removable retainers that have metal wires that go around the outside of the teeth. This type of retainer is great because it can be taken out to eat, brush, and floss. They are also very easy to clean. However, you need to make sure to keep track of them when you take them out so as not to lose them. These retainers typically come in a colorful case that helps to keep track of the retainer when it is not being worn. If lost, it is important to schedule an appointment to have a new retainer made, so that your teeth will not begin to shift back to their original locations.
Fixed retainers contain thin wires that are bonded to the backsides of the teeth. These are usually recommended to patients that experienced a major change in their bite, or for those that have a high risk of reversal. Benefits to fixed retainers are that they cannot be lost, and are in place 24/7. Individuals with removable retainers may experience some shifting if they forget to wear it for a few days, but this is not an issue for those with fixed retainers.
To learn more about retainers, call Dr. Derek E. Brown of Winning Smiles Orthodontics at 301-242-3091! Winning Smiles Orthodontics has offices located in Hyattsville and Bowie, MD, and is proud to offer services to those in and around Washington, DC; Bowie, MD; Hyattsville, MD; Prince George’s County; Montgomery County; and Anne Arundel County