Retainer Before and After

If you have been wearing braces and hoping that your teeth will become aligned with no flaw once you remove them, you only know one part of the puzzle. After your braces are gone, the next phase starts. It is called retention, which ensures that your teeth stay in shape even after the removal of your braces. You will have to wear an orthodontic appliance called a retainer for some time to get the best results. If you are not sure why you should wear it, just have a look at some retainer before and after photos to get an idea. Keep reading to find out more.

Why a Retainer Is Needed?

It is a good idea to use a retainer because it offers a number of benefits. For instance:

  • It helps your changed teeth stay in their new positions. Your teeth are kept in place by a network of fibers or the periodontal ligaments, and you will be moving those ligaments by wearing braces. It takes some time for those ligaments to adjust to the new positions. After the removal of braces, a retainer takes up the job and makes things easy for you.
  • It helps eliminate small spaces in between your teeth by moving one or more teeth. You do not need braces in this case, but just have to wear retainers for several years to close any gap in your teeth.
  • It helps treat medical problems, such as a tongue thrust in which your tongue comes out of your teeth when you talk. To tackle this condition, you can find especially designed tongue cage retainers that contain small metal bars to keep your tongue from going forward when you speak. Overtime, this trains your tongue to go toward the roof of your mouth instead of going through your teeth.
  • It helps with temporomandibular disorder, in which your teeth do not close properly when you close your jaws. This also helps treat another disorder that makes you grind your teeth while you sleep. Grinding your teeth may lead to headaches or jaw pain, but retainers can prevent these complications by keeping your mouth from closing completely when you sleep.

Retainer Before and After Pictures

There are a number of benefits associated with the use of retainers. However, many people are still skeptical about its use and even think a retainer does not make any difference. That is not true though and you will know it by comparing the following retainer before and after photos to know the effectiveness of retainers.



Which Type of Retainer to Choose

If you have decided to use retainers after checking retainer before and after pictures, it is important to know the different types of retainers available today. Some of them are fixed, while others are flexible and invisible. All types of retainers have their own pros and cons. You have to consider them before making a choice.

1. Fixed Retainer

First introduced in the 1970s, these retainers are the simplest of all types. They contain a single strand of braided or solid wire, which is bent to fit against the backside of your straightened teeth.

  • Advantages: The best thing about these retainers is that dentists do not need to rely on patient cooperation. Fixed retainers usually work well and never cause problems in terms of compliance. Moreover, these retainers go on the backside of your teeth, so others cannot see that you are wearing one.
  • Disadvantages: They are effective but make it difficult to clean your teeth. Flossing will be especially difficult with these bonded retainers. It may be hard to maintain these retainers and if you do not pay special attention to it you may end up dealing with gum inflammation caused by dental plaque and tartar. You will have to use a floss threader for effective flossing, which is essential for proper maintenance.

2. Invisible Retainer

They are made from clear plastic and are in use since 1970's. Your dentist will first take the impression of your teeth and then transform it into a plaster cast over which a thick sheet of heated plastic will be placed. They will trim any excess plastic to make this retainer invisible.

  • Advantages: The biggest advantage is that they are 'invisible' and others cannot notice you wearing these retainers. Another good thing is that maintaining oral hygiene is relatively easier with these types of retainers.
  • Disadvantages: You may have difficulty speaking in the beginning. Once made, it is not possible to make any adjustment to these retainers, so they are non-adjustable. Sometimes, a crack, tear, or breakage may appear, so it is important to see your dentist regularly.

3. Hawley Retainer

They first surfaced in the 1920's and are now among the most popular retainers. The design involves clasps and wires used in a thick plastic body. The plastic part will fit on the roof of your mouth and the clasps grasp teeth for support. There is also a bow wire running across your front teeth – this helps maintain their alignment.

  • Advantages: These retainers are quite adjustable and are sturdier as compared to other types of retainers. Another good thing is that you can repair these retainers if you ever damage them.
  • Disadvantages: The plastic body is quite invisible but others can see the wire in the front side of your teeth. You may also find it interfering with your speech, and that is mainly due to the thickness of its plastic body. Ask your dentist to trim the body to make things easier. 
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