What are Retainers?

Posted on Nov 6, 2014

What are Retainers?

Tooth realignment is a complicated and long process. The initial procedure is the installation of braces to accomplish the actual realigning of a patient’s teeth. These braces are worn for an amount of time determined by your Port Coquitlam orthodontist on a case by case basis. After the braces, HGS Ortho will require or recommend the use of retainers. Retainers are plastic molds of the roof of your mouth with wires attached to them that go around your newly aligned teeth. But what do retainers do and why are they still necessary after you’ve had braces for such a long time already?

First and foremost, a retainer can be used for different purposes apart from just wearing them after you’ve had braces. Having said that, the retainer is used after your braces have been taken out. This is a way for the teeth to stay in their new alignment as the soft tissues like the gums adjust to the new placement of your teeth and fix them into place. If you’re required to use retainers, you’ll typically have to wear them at night before you go to bed. In some cases you might also have to wear retainers in the morning.

In other cases, retainers can also help correct tooth grinding, manage and resolve speech conditions, and alleviate tongue thrusting, which occurs when a person’s tongue goes in between their teeth when they talk. Your dentist or Richmond orthodontist is the best person to tell if retainers will work for your condition.

On average, a person needs to wear their retainers for a couple of months. While it may seem like a long time, it’s a better alternative than having your teeth go back to their previously misaligned positions. A trip to the orthodontist’s office at HGS Ortho will be able give you an accurate assessment as to how long you may need retainers and how to take care of your teeth afterwards. Contact us today!