Do You Need a Permanent Retainer?
After wearing braces, you’ve finally achieved the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. But without proper care, your teeth may drift back to their original position. Your orthodontist may require you to use a permanent retainer.
Types of Retainers
There are two basic types of retainers:
• Removable retainers are usually worn at night and taken out during the day. They’re typically made with a plastic base shaped to your palate and a wire that runs in front of your teeth to hold them in place. They can also be entirely made of clear plastic that wraps around your teeth.
• Permanent retainers are attached directly to your teeth. They consist of a wire fixed behind your teeth. They’re invisible to everyone and are effective at keeping your teeth in the right position.
Caring for Your Permanent Retainer
Similar to caring for your braces, you should brush your teeth twice a day, floss carefully, and see your Langley dentist twice a year for thorough cleanings. However, you’ll need to use self-threading floss or a floss-threading device to get the floss under the wires of your retainer in order to properly clean between the teeth.
When Should a Permanent Retainer Be Removed?
They’re called permanent because you don’t take them out, but there are a few cases in which you may need removal:
• It’s damaged. Biting into hard food, an injury or normal wear and tear can all cause damage. If this happens, it’ll need to be replaced with a new one.
• You don’t need it anymore. People often wear permanent retainers for years, but not necessarily forever. Your jaw stops growing in your in your mid-twenties, at which point the risk of drifting teeth diminishes greatly.
• There’s a buildup of calculus on your teeth. Because the retainer is attached directly to your teeth, it’s challenging to remove plaque from the areas underneath it. Plaque can harden into dental calculus, also known as tartar. This can cause tooth decay and gum disease, so your dentist may suggest removing the retainer to preserve your oral health.
• It’s causing you pain. Your retainer shouldn’t cause you any pain, but if your teeth shift despite the appliance, you may experience significant discomfort. See your dentist right away if your retainer is hurting you.
Amazing Smile Dental: Orthodontist in Langley
If you’d like to know more about the orthodontic treatments we offer, including permanent retainers, a dentist from our dental office will be able to answer any questions you have. Call Amazing Smile Dental today to make an appointment.