Retainers play a critical role in the orthodontic treatment process by preventing your newly aligned teeth from moving out of position. At Schoolhouse Orthodontics, LTD, Tasha Bolden, DMD, MSD, offers removable and fixed retainers to people of all ages. To make an appointment at the practice in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
What are retainers?
Retainers are custom-manufactured orthodontic appliances made of materials like metal and plastic. You wear them following treatment with braces to prevent your teeth from shifting.
To ensure the best possible results, it’s important to wear your retainer as prescribed. Typically, Dr. Bolden recommends retainers for a period of four to six months.
What are the types of retainers?
At Schoolhouse Orthodontics, LTD, Dr. Bolden offers two types of retainers:
A fixed, or permanent, retainer features a solid wire bonded to the back of your teeth. Dr. Bolden curves the wire so it supports the shape of your newly aligned smile.
This type of retainer is beneficial for young children who aren’t able to clean and care for a removable retainer. They require very little maintenance and rarely cause irritation.
Removable retainers feature a plastic center supported by a wire framework. The framework snaps into place over your teeth and prevents them from moving.
Removable retainers collect plaque and tartar like your natural teeth, so it’s important to clean them daily. To ensure the best possible results, carefully follow Dr. Bolden’s instructions.
Why are retainers necessary?
Orthodontic treatment moves your teeth and jaw into the optimal position, but these changes aren’t necessarily permanent. The effects of biting, chewing, and general wear-and-tear often lead to relapse, meaning your teeth revert to their original location. A retainer prevents that process from occurring, ensuring your smile remains balanced and symmetrical.
While wearing a retainer, you visit Schoolhouse Orthodontics, LTD, every two or three months. At each checkup, Dr. Bolden conducts an oral exam and assesses your progress. If she notices your teeth starting to move, she might recommend taking impressions for a new retainer that fits better.
What does getting a retainer involve?
If Dr. Bolden determines you’re a good candidate for a retainer, she uses an intraoral scanner to take digital impressions of your teeth. She sends your impressions to a dental laboratory that uses them to design and manufacture a custom retainer.
When the lab completes your custom appliance, you return to the office and try it on. If it’s a fixed retainer, Dr. Bolden bonds it to the back of your teeth.
To see if you can benefit from a retainer, make an appointment at Schoolhouse Orthodontics, LTD, by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.