What are the main orthodontic retainers types?
There are two main orthodontic retainers types that can be recommended by the orthodontist: permanent and removable. The main difference between them is that permanent retainers after braces are bonded to your teeth (glued on), while removable retainers are to be worn per orthodontist’s specifications.
Some types of removable “retainers” can move teeth to align them. Traditionally, however, retainers are meant to prevent teeth from shifting AFTER they have been aligned. No matter which type of retainers you are recommended to wear, you will have to talk to your orthodontist about the ups and downs of each of them จัดฟัน.
Pros and cons of permanent retainers
Permanent retainers cannot be taken out like removable retainers. They are very comfortable, are placed on the back of your teeth (therefore INVISIBLE when you smile) and can avoid unwanted teeth shifting since you can NOT “forget” to wear them (they are “glued” on). While they make sure that your teeth will not revert to their crooked position – that you had to straighten by wearing braces – they have their downsides, as well.
For instance, permanent retainers can make it difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth. This means that after permanent retainers are fixed on your teeth, you will have to become quite religious about your oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing are, indeed, more difficult, but failing to do a good job can lead to accumulation of plaque and tartar (calculus). Gum disease is usually caused by these accumulations, which is the reason why you have to do your best to prevent them.
It is recommended to use floss threaders that are especially designed to be introduced between retainers and your teeth, in order to help you clean them properly.
The main advantage of this type of retainers (permanent), however, is that they are very efficient. By wearing them, you will make sure that your teeth will never go back to how they were. They are sturdily built, as they may be worn for the rest of a patient’s life, provided they are replaced every few years because of “wear and tear”. They do not require other orthodontic adjustments, like removable retainers do.
Pros and cons of removable retainers
Removable retainers are often recommended, as a very simple solution for those with crooked teeth. Among the orthodontic retainer types, they are easy to wear and they do not pose the same problems when it comes to brushing and flossing.
However, they are designed to hold the teeth in place, without helping them realign in any way. This means that their action is somehow limited, and they can only be worn after the teeth have been properly aligned by wearing braces for a while. They cannot continue the realigning process, and they are merely designed to keep the teeth in place.
Also, some models can make it pretty obvious that you are wearing retainers, while others can hinder speech. They can lead to excessive salivation, as well, which is not very pleasant. Talk to your orthodontist about orthodontic retainers types and decide together with them which one is the best type to wear for your particular dentition.
Dr Thanh-De Nguyen is a certified orthodontist, a title that in Quebec can only be granted by the Ordre des dentistes du Québec. He is a graduate of numerous schools: Université Laval, Université de Montréal, University of Toronto and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. He cumulates over 19 years of experience in dentistry and 13 years exclusively in orthodontics. He has been teaching orthodontics for over 12 years to University students. His practice is based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. See our our services page section.