While searching the internet for different orthodontic treatment options or discussing with your dentist, you might have come across the term retainers. So, naturally, you might be curious about what retainers are and how they work? What are the different types of retainers? Can retainers be used to straighten teeth? If you have been looking for answers to these questions, you are not alone. In fact, these are one of the most commonly asked questions by prospective orthodontic patients. That is why we have compiled all the information regarding orthodontic retainers in one place so that you can learn everything there is to know about orthodontic retainers. So, read on and find the answers to questions you have been searching for.
Can My Old Retainer Straighten Back My Teeth?
Like braces and removable clear aligners, retainers are orthodontic appliances as well; however, they work differently. According to the British Orthodontic Society, retainers are removable or fixed appliances that your dentist will give you at the end of your treatment. The purpose of wearing retainers is to prevent your teeth from moving back to their previous position. Therefore, orthodontic retainers simply serve to hold your teeth in their new positions.
Can Retainers Fix Crooked Teeth?
Orthodontic retainers are passive appliances, meaning that they don’t exert any force on your teeth. Instead, a removable retainer or bonded retainers are designed to simply prevent tooth movement. Therefore, unlike metal braces or clear aligners, orthodontic retainers cannot be used for fixing crooked teeth. Instead, your dentist will only use them when they are finishing treatment.
Can Dental Retainers Correct Slight Shifting?
Orthodontic retainers cannot correct any shifting or movement of the teeth following active orthodontic treatment. However, retainers are designed to prevent unnecessary movement of the teeth in the first place. So, if the retainers are used according to your dentist’s instructions, you won’t have to worry about unwanted sliding or movement of the teeth once your treatment has been completed.
What Are The Teeth Straightening Options For Adults?
Today, several treatment options are available to adults for getting their teeth straightened. While fixed metal braces were the only teeth straightening option available a few years back, less conspicuous, comfortable, and more convenient alternatives have become available nowadays. For example, if one doesn’t like to wear metal braces, they can benefit from other options:
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Removable clear aligners
Will My Teeth Shift Back If My Retainer Broke?
The primary task of retainers is to consolidate the orthodontic treatment and prevent your teeth from shifting back. If your retainer breaks accidentally, you must get new ones immediately. Failing to do so may result in the shifting and sliding of your teeth and may even require re-treatment with braces or aligners if the aligners are not worn for a long time.
How To Know If Your Retainer Is Loose?
Removable orthodontic retainers are designed to fit just nicely around your teeth. If they are too tight, they will become active appliances and may cause unwanted tooth movement. On the other hand, if they are too loose, they will fail to hold the teeth in their position. Therefore, removable retainers must be tight enough to remain in position without falling off. Fixed retainers are usually bonded to the teeth and normally do not come off. However, if they do, you can visit your dentist again to get them re-bonded.
Is Wearing A Retainer Important After Getting Braces?
Ignoring to wear a retainer after orthodontic treatment is just like not touching the finish line after running the entire racecourse. When you finish your treatment, your teeth will be optimally aligned, giving you a beautiful smile and optimal dental function. If you don’t wear your aligners after treatment, your teeth can shift back to their old positions, causing the tooth misalignment to reappear. Therefore, wearing your aligners is as essential as wearing braces or clear aligners.
How Can Braces Affect Your Facial Structure?
When the braces move our teeth, they also cause changes in the overall shape and position of the jaw and facial bones. Therefore, orthodontic treatment braces done the right way can have a positive influence on one’s facial appearance, making them look much younger and healthier.
Will I Do Any Damage By Forcing My Retainer Over My Teeth?
If you cannot wear your retainer over your teeth, it may indicate that your retainers have either got damaged or warped as a result of washing in very hot water. In either case, you should not apply too much force when wearing such retainers. Instead, you should ask your dentist to make new retainers for you as soon as possible. Wearing ill-fitting retainers may cause unwanted tooth movement.
What Happens If You Don’t Wear Your Retainer For A Week?
Your retainers are meant to keep your newly aligned teeth in their new positions. Therefore, you are required to wear them constantly – or according to your dentist’s instructions – without any gap or delay. If you don’t wear your retainers for a week, the teeth will gradually start to move back to their previous positions, undoing all the hard work your dentist put in to align your teeth, and will also negatively affect your smile. If you are thinking of getting your teeth straightened with braces, Ely Smiles Expert Orthodontic Care offers the best orthodontic services in town at affordable rates in a comfortable and relaxing environment. We have the most qualified and experienced dental team in town to take care of all your dental problems under one roof. So, book an appointment today and let us give you a healthy and beautiful smile.