Retainers in Birmingham
Retainers are oral appliances made of either clear plastic, or a combination of plastic and metal wire that retains, or maintains the correct position of teeth that have completed orthodontic treatment. Dr. Sema recommends that anyone who has completed orthodontic treatment wear their retainers to keep the amount of post-straightening teeth movement to a minimum.
Retainers can be used before or after teeth straightening procedures, and can even help with the shaping of the gums as bone structure in the jaw changes.
Why should I wear a retainer?
After braces come off, you will need to wear a retainer. This is because teeth naturally tend to spread out or shift out of place depending on the amount of extra space in the jaw. To prevent this shifting of teeth is the main reason to wear a retainer. Now that you have beautiful straight teeth, don’t you want to keep them that way?
After just completing orthodontic treatment, patients are often required to wear a retainer during the day and at night while sleeping. However, once the teeth have had some time getting used to their new position, it’s alright to only wear the retainers at night when you sleep.
Which kind of retainer is right for me?
A removable retainer can be taken out to brush and floss with ease. The disadvantage is that a removable retainer may be forgotten and not used, leading to shifting of the teeth.
Some people require a permanent “fixed” retainer. These can’t be removed by the patient, and sit along the backside of the bottom row of teeth. A fixed retainer reduces the chances of a specific orthodontic case reverting or returning to problematic bite conditions that existed before treatment began. It can be more challenging to floss your teeth with a fixed retainer but Dr. Sema can show you how to effectively care for your teeth.
Dr. Sema will take different factors into consideration and help you decide which is the best type of retainer for you.
How long do I need to wear my retainers?
Dr. Sema recommends retainers be worn full time for six months after braces are removed. Then, patients can start wearing them only while sleeping. Dr. Sema recommends night time wear for at least 6 more months, at which point patients can start going a night or two without their retainers.
Dr. Sema says that you should NEVER throw away your retainers. Keeping your retainers over a long period of time helps you maintain your beautiful smile you worked so hard to achieve!
How to clean your retainers
Ideally, brushing your retainers with an antibacterial soap and separate toothbrush is best. Toothpaste is alright as well. Be sure to store your retainers in the retainer case that Dr. Sema will be sure to give you. Daily cleaning of your retainers is recommended.
To make an appointment, call 205‑900‑4705 or click here to request an appointment online.