Orthodontic retention is an important part of orthodontic treatment. A retainer is custom-designed just for your teeth to keep them in place after braces, which is why you should visit a professional orthodontist.

Today, there are more options for retainers than ever before. At Langford Orthodontics, our Knoxville and Seymour, TN, offices are here to help you get the right treatment and retainer for the smile you want. There's simply no substitute for getting your retainer from an experienced orthodontic team that will ensure the correct treatment.

What Are Dental Retainers For?

Since teeth can shift back to their original position, a retainer keeps your teeth properly aligned after orthodontic treatment. This device helps ensure your teeth stay in proper alignment for eating, good oral health and a beautiful smile.

Your orthodontist will tell you whether you need a retainer after your orthodontic treatment and they'll help you choose the right option for your needs.

Are Dental Retainers Always Needed After Treatment?

When you get orthodontic treatment to correct the position and alignment of your teeth, your orthodontist will almost always advise you wear retainers after your treatment ends.

Whether you had surgery, braces or Invisalign, the bones and gums around your teeth won’t be strong enough to maintain the new alignment right after your treatment. Retainers help prevent your teeth from returning to their original placement. If you’re getting any treatment for crowding, gaps between teeth, uneven teeth or other issues, talk to your orthodontist about retainers.

The Pros and Cons of Retainers

There are several advantages to retainers:

  • They keep teeth in their correct place after treatment to help protect your investment.
  • They give your gums and teeth a chance to get stronger so teeth are less likely to move.
  • Some retainers may only need to be worn at night.
  • Many retainers are removable, making it easy to brush your teeth, floss, eat and more.

However, retainers also require special attention as you wear, care for and pay for them. The good news is that a little effort with your retainer can prevent the need for additional orthodontic treatment.

Types of Teeth Retainers

You have a few choices when it comes to retainers:

  • Hawley retainer: This removable retainer is designed with a plastic body and wire with clasps. The plastic body rests along the teeth or the roof of the mouth. The wire goes across the teeth and clasps around some of them, helping keep your teeth in alignment. The Hawley retainer is one of the most durable options and it's removable so you can eat or clean your teeth easily.
  • Essix retainer: This removable retainer is made from clear plastic that fits snugly around the teeth. It's less visible than the Hawley retainer, though you may need to replace it more often. Since Essix retainers are removable, you can eat and care for your teeth with ease.
  • Fixed retainer: Also known as a permanent or bonded teeth retainer, a fixed retainer is attached to the back of your teeth with dental cement. No one can see it when you smile and only your orthodontist can remove it.

How to Care for Your Retainer

Your orthodontist will provide instructions on how to care for your retainer. In general, you'll use a special rinse or dental cleanser to wash a removable retainer. Avoid using toothpaste on removable retainers because it can break down the plastic, making it easier for bacteria to stick on the surface.

If you have a removable retainer, always keep it in the hard case included with your retainer. Storing it properly will protect your retainer from bacteria, damage and losing it.

Why Choose Langford Orthodontics?

Langford Orthodontics is your partner in quality orthodontic care. The teams at our offices in Knoxville and Seymour, TN, are trained, compassionate and experienced. Our goal is to provide you with a comfortable experience while ensuring you get the care you need for a beautiful smile and correct alignment that promotes your overall health.

Dr. Allen Langford and the rest of our team are here to help. Go ahead and contact us to schedule a free consult or find out more about how we'll help you achieve the smile you've always wanted.