Retainers Can Maintain Your Straight Smile after Braces

There are several reasons that you or your child might wear a retainer. Most commonly, you will wear one of these devices after your braces come off. The custom-crafted appliance will keep your teeth from moving back into their original misaligned positions. Jacksonville dentist Dr. Lysandro Tapnio takes great care to provide comfortable, highly effective retainers. He offers several types of retainers, and he will collaborate with our dental lab to make sure your device is a near-perfect fit for your mouth. He will also monitor your progress and provide guidance in caring for your appliance. Contact Dr. Tapnio’s office to learn more about retainers or to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child.

Why You Might Need a Retainer

Most people wear retainers after traditional orthodontic treatment. Once your braces come off, your teeth will naturally start to move into their old positions. A retainer will put a very slight pressure on your teeth to keep them from shifting back. Though the device will exert force on your teeth, it will be much less noticeable than the pressure from metal braces. In a few cases, Dr. Tapnio may recommend a retainer if you or your child only have slight alignment issues to begin with. For example, a retainer can close small gaps or straighten a single crooked tooth.

What to Expect When You Receive a Retainer

Whether you received your braces from Dr. Tapnio or you are coming to him for the first time, he will carefully evaluate your teeth before providing your retainer. After determining the right type for you, he will take impressions of your teeth. Lab technicians will create an appliance that fits your smile and places a very precise force on your dental arches. When the retainer comes back to our office, Dr. Tapnio will have you try it on. If needed, he will make adjustments or order a new device. With this precise care, he can protect your oral health for years to come.

At your consultation, Dr. Tapnio will also provide instructions about how long and how often to wear your retainer. The process varies for each person. However, in many cases, you will need to wear your appliance full time for several months after braces. Following this initial period, you may need to wear your retainer several times a week or every night for several years. If you had severe misalignment, Dr. Tapnio may recommend nightly use for life.

Caring for and Living with Your Retainer

Though the thought of retainer might seem like a hassle, the devices are actually very low maintenance. Even when you need to wear them full time, you will still take them out to eat. You can return to a full diet, including those foods that were off limits when you wore braces. Be sure to bring your retainer case with you if you plan to eat out, and make sure that your child brings his or her case to school. It is also important to brush your teeth before putting the device back in your mouth. Otherwise, you will trap food and bacteria in between your retainer and teeth. To clean your appliance, simply brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You can also use denture cleaner or non-alcoholic mouthwash.

Get Fitted with Your Custom Retainer

To learn more about retainers and to receive your custom-made appliance, contact our Jacksonville practice today.

For a textbook definition of retainers, read this article

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