It’s exciting to have your braces removed and see your beautiful smile, but your orthodontic journey isn’t over. You’ll need to wear a retainer to be sure your teeth don’t move back into their pre-braces position. Dr. Bas Wafelbakker and Dr. Chris Anderson offer several types of retainers, and they even use retainers to straighten teeth for some patients. Call Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics in Walnut Creek, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and Hollister, California, or book a consultation online to learn more about retainers.
A retainer is a custom-made dental appliance that serves one of two purposes:
It’s essential to wear a retainer after your braces are removed or when you finish wearing the full series of Invisalign aligners. The retainer prevents your teeth from moving back to their original position.
Some patients can wear a retainer instead of braces to straighten their teeth. This option may be possible when you have a minor case of teeth misalignment or overcrowding.
When your teeth are straightened or moved into better alignment, your jawbone also changes. In a process called remodeling, it grows new bone and eliminates old bone as needed to support the new position of each tooth.
Remodeling takes many months, and until it’s complete, your teeth can move out of their new alignment.
Dr. Wafelbakker or Dr. Anderson determines how long you’ll need to wear your retainer based on your teeth and the purpose of your retainer. They’ll provide specific recommendations about how many hours to wear the retainer each day, as well as how long you’ll need to wear it.
There are two basic types of retainers:
These retainers consist of a wire that’s bonded to your teeth so it can’t be removed. Your orthodontist can place the wire behind your teeth, so it’s not very visible.
Removable retainers are made from different materials. If your wore Invisalign aligners, you can get retainers made from the same clear plastic material. They can also be made from a wire that goes around the front of your teeth and is held in place by an acrylic piece that fits behind your teeth.
The best type of retainer depends on your preferences, your age, and your orthodontist’s recommendations to achieve or maintain proper alignment. Young children who may be tempted to remove their retainer may see better results with a fixed retainer.
Please call Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics or schedule a consultation online if you have any questions about retainers or straightening your teeth.