What Are Retainers?
Retainers are a type of orthodontic treatment that are used to keep your teeth in their new, post-orthodontic treatment positions and to prevent a relapse. They come in both removable and permanent varieties. Retainers may also be used to correct small problems that may have developed after your braces were removed or to correct a minor crowding issue.
What Types of Retainers Are There?
The two most common types of retainers offered by orthodontics are bonded retainers and removable retainers.
Bonded retainers are small metal wires that are attached to the back of your teeth using dental adhesive. They are usually used in the front lower teeth area. They are not noticeable when you smile and can be left in place permanently. They are also called permanent retainers.
Removable retainers are made of clear plastic and wire. They fit over your teeth and can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. They need to be cleaned daily and should be stored in a case when not in use.
Permanent Retainers vs. Removable Retainers
The main difference between bonded retainers and removable retainers is that bonded retainers are attached to your teeth using dental adhesive, while removable retainers are not. Bonded retainers are typically used in the lower front teeth area and can be left in place permanently. They are not noticeable when you smile. Removable retainers, on the other hand, fit over your teeth and can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. They need to be cleaned daily and should be stored in a case when not in use.
Which type of retainer is right for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Your orthodontist will be able to recommend the best type of retainer for you.
What Are the Benefits of Bonded Retainers?
Bonded retainers have a number of benefits, including:
- They are less likely to be lost or misplaced than removable retainers.
- They do not need to be removed for everyday hygiene (eating, brushing, or flossing).
- They are more comfortable than removable retainers.
- They are less likely to cause gum irritation.
What Are the Disadvantages of Bonded Retainers?
Bonded retainers also have a few disadvantages, including:
- They can be more difficult to clean than removable retainers.
- The wire can sometimes become visible if the bonding material breaks down.
- They can be more expensive than removable retainers.
- They may require more frequent visits to the orthodontist for adjustment.
Oral Hygiene When Wearing Bonded Retainers
It is important to take good care of your teeth and gums when you have any type of retainer. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly.
When you have a bonded retainer, it is especially important to brush and floss carefully around the wire to remove plaque and food debris. You may need to use a special brush or floss threader to reach the wire.
If you have any questions or concerns about taking care of your teeth and gums, or if you think your retainer is not fitting correctly, be sure to contact your orthodontist.
Do Bonded Retainers Hurt?
Bonded retainers usually do not hurt. You may feel some pressure when the retainer is first placed, but this should go away quickly. If you experience any pain or discomfort, be sure to contact your orthodontist.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Bonded Retainers?
There are a few risks associated with bonded retainers, but they are rare. These risks include:
- The retainer could come loose and be swallowed or inhaled.
- The wire could break and poke the inside of your cheek or tongue.
- The bonding material could break down and release toxins that could be harmful if swallowed or inhaled.
If you experience any problems with your retainer, be sure to contact your orthodontist.
How Long Do I Have to Wear a Bonded Retainer?
You will need to wear a bonded retainer for as long as your orthodontist recommends. This is typically for several years, but may be for a lifetime in some cases.
How to Clean a Bonded Retainer?
Cleaning a bonded retainer is similar to cleaning your natural teeth. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily. You may need to use a special brush or floss threader to reach the wire.
You should also avoid eating sticky or hard foods that could damage the retainer or dislodge it from your teeth.
If you have any questions about how to clean your retainer, be sure to contact your orthodontist.
How Much Do Bonded Retainers Cost?
The cost of a bonded retainer will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of retainer, the materials used, and the length of time you need to wear it. Be sure to discuss the cost with your orthodontist before having the retainer placed. Usually it will be around $250.
What Happens If I Don’t Wear My Bonded Retainer?
If you don’t wear your bonded retainer as directed by your orthodontist, your teeth may begin to shift out of alignment. This can cause a number of problems, including:
- The retainer may not fit correctly.
- Your teeth may become crooked or gapped.
- You may need to wear the retainer for a longer period of time.
- You may need to have additional orthodontic treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns about wearing your retainer, be sure to contact your orthodontist.
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