Dental Retainers

Mar 7 • 1 minute read

Dental retainers are mostly used as the last phase of orthodontic treatment (braces).  After braces are removed, teeth can shift back to their original position so retainers help maintain the position of the newly straightened teeth. Straighter teeth tend to be easier to clean, can help with speech as well as breathing, and can aid in chewing food.  There are two common types of dental retainers:

  1. Removable: a retainer that the wearer can remove, often only worn at nighttime

    1. Advantages: can be removed when eating or cleaning teeth

    2. Disadvantages: easily misplaced, easily damaged when not in use, relapse in tooth position common if not worn correctly and often

  2. Permanent retainers: a wire that is curved and cemented on the backside of the teeth

    1. Advantages: Not visible to others, compliance is improved as it cannot be taken out by the wearer

    2. Disadvantages: more difficult to clean, may irritate tongue

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