An orthodontic retainer is a device made out of wires or clear plastic that ensures that your teeth do not relapse to the original position that they had before the braces treatment.
Dental retainers are not all the same. There are three types of retainers: fixed, removable and clear or invisible.
Fixed retainers (or bonded retainers) are typically glued on the inner surface of your teeth with the help of dental glue. Continuing the work done by the braces treatment, fixed retainers are very efficient at maintaining the positions of your teeth. However, just like in the case of wearing braces, they also make cleaning your teeth more difficult. So make sure that you stay away from sugary foods and drinks, so that your retainer and teeth remain in a perfect condition.
Removable retainers are probably the most common type of retainer. Basically, there is a wire that runs across your front teeth that helps maintain their symmetry and alignment. The most popular type is the Hawley retainer which is custom made out of stainless steel wire and plastic for both your teeth and mouth.
Clear or invisible retainers are more aesthetically pleasing, more comfortable and require no adjustment. However, they are not durable and after a while they can break down. Most people use the invisible retainers as a back-up retainer for the removable ones when they go out to parties or any other kind of social event.
Normally, after the braces treatment, the retainers should be worn full-time for the first 6 months. That is when most relapses or unwanted tooth movements take place. After that, it is ok to wear them only while sleeping. Obviously, depending on the individual needs, that period can be longer or shorter. For questions about dental retainers please do contact Dublin18 Dental Care near Dun Laoghaire.