Posts for tag: retainer
On the big screen, Australian-born actress Margot Robbie may be best known for playing devil-may-care anti-heroes—like Suicide Squad member Harley Quinn and notorious figure skater Tonya Harding. But recently, a discussion of her role in Peter Rabbit proved that in real life, she’s making healthier choices. When asked whether it was hard to voice a character with a speech impediment, she revealed that she wears retainers in her mouth at night, which gives her a noticeable lisp.
“I actually have two retainers,” she explained, “one for my bottom teeth which is for grinding my teeth, and one for my top teeth which is just so my teeth don't move.”
Clearly Robbie is serious about protecting her dazzling smile. And she has good reasons for wearing both of those retainers. So first, let’s talk about retainers for teeth grinding.
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding affects around 10 percent of adults at one time or another, and is often associated with stress. If you wake up with headaches, sore teeth or irritated gums, or your sleeping partner complains of grinding noises at night, you may be suffering from nighttime teeth grinding without even being aware of it.
A type of retainer called an occlusal guard is frequently recommended to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism. Typically made of plastic, this appliance fits comfortably over your teeth and prevents them from being damaged when they rub against each other. In combination with stress reduction techniques and other conservative treatments, it’s often the best way to manage teeth grinding.
Orthodontic retainers are also well-established treatment devices. While appliances like braces or aligners cause teeth to move into better positions, retainers are designed to keep teeth from moving—helping them to stay in those positions. After active orthodontic treatment, a period of retention is needed to allow the bite to stabilize. Otherwise, the teeth can drift right back to their old locations, undoing the time and effort of orthodontic treatment.
So Robbie has the right idea there too. However, for those who don’t relish the idea of wearing a plastic appliance, it’s often possible to bond a wire retainer to the back surfaces of the teeth, where it’s invisible. No matter which kind you choose, wearing a retainer can help keep your smile looking great for many years to come.
If you have questions about teeth grinding or orthodontic retainers, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
Once the active phase of your orthodontic treatment is finished, it is finally time to have your braces removed and show off your newly perfected smile. While this is a very exciting time, it is important to remember that there remains a final stage of orthodontic treatment, the retention phase. Without paying proper attention to this phase, your teeth will likely begin to shift back into their original positions. Since orthodontic treatment requires both significant time and financial commitment, having your teeth move again would be very disappointing. This is where retainers come in.
Custom made devices designed to hold your teeth in place after finishing orthodontic treatment. There are two basic types: removable or bonded (fixed) retainers. Some orthodontic treatment may require using both types. You will be able to decide with your orthodontist which option will work best for you.
A thin piece of metal wire that gets bonded directly to the back of your front teeth.
- Suitable for patients that may not wear their removable retainers as recommended by the orthodontist.
- They remain in place 24 hours a day.
- Since they are bonded to the lingual (back side) of the front teeth, they are not visible to others.
- Difficult to keep clean and prone to plaque and tartar accumulation.
- Will need to floss under the wire using Superfloss or floss threaders which may be inconvenient for some patients.
- Since they are bonded only to the front teeth, they do not prevent the back teeth from shifting.
- May need maintenance at times. The lingual wire could break or come loose and require a visit to the dental office to fix.
Custom-fit retainers that are made from plastic or a combination of plastic and metal wires.
- Easier to keep clean than a fixed retainer.
- Can be worn and removed at will.
- Keeps all the teeth in place, not only the front teeth.
- Effectiveness is based on compliance with wearing them.
- Could get lost or damaged and need new ones made.
- Teeth can shift if not worn for a period and retainers may no longer fit.
If you are nearing the end of your orthodontic treatment, you are probably thinking of how best you can protect your investment. Retainers will preserve the smile you always wanted. You and your orthodontist or dentist can discuss your options and come to a decision that will best suit you and your lifestyle. Call us now for more information.
A lot of time and effort goes into straightening your smile. But there’s a possibility it might not stay that way—and all that hard work could be lost. The same natural mechanism that enables your teeth to move with braces could cause them to revert to their old, undesirable positions.
So for a little while (or longer for some people) you’ll need to wear a retainer, an appliance designed to keep or “retain” your teeth where they are now. And while the removable type is perhaps the best known, there’s at least one other choice you might want to consider: a bonded retainer.
Just as its name implies, this retainer consists of a thin metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth with a composite material. Unlike the removable appliance, a bonded retainer is fixed and can only be removed by an orthodontist.
Bonded retainers have several advantages. Perhaps the most important one is cosmetic—unlike the removable version, others can’t see a bonded retainer since it’s hidden behind the teeth. There’s also no keeping up with it—or losing it—since it’s fixed in place, which might be helpful with some younger patients who need reminding about keeping their retainer in their mouth.
There are, however, a few disadvantages. It’s much harder to floss with a bonded retainer, which could increase the risks of dental disease. It’s also possible for it to break, in which case it will need to be repaired by an orthodontist and as soon as possible. Without it in place for any length of time the teeth could move out of alignment.
If you or a family member is about to have braces removed, you’ll soon need to make a decision on which retainer to use. We’ll discuss these options with you and help you choose the one—removable or bonded—that’s right for you.
If you would like more information on bonded retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Bonded Retainers: What are the Pros and Cons?”