While getting braces from Kwong Orthodontics is a very effective way to move your teeth into proper alignment, the results do not last a lifetime. This is why, once you visit your orthodontist in Portage, MI to have your braces removed, your orthodontist will want you to wear a retainer.
What is a Permanent Retainer?
There are two types of retainers: permanent and removable. Permanent retainers are attached to the back of your lower front teeth to guard your teeth against shifting 24 hours a day. Removable retainers are only effective when they are worn--typically only at night. Your Portage, MI orthodontist will have experience with both types and will be able to recommend the right type for you.
Why Would Someone Choose a Permanent Retainer?
Permanent retainers are the perfect option for individuals who often lose or forget to wear their retainers, individuals who don't always wear their retainers like they should, and individuals who wear other dental devices. Permanent retainers are the most reliable option, both in terms of performance and likelihood that they will be used as directed.
Permanent retainers may not be right for people who won't commit to excellent oral hygiene, however since they are more difficult to clean around. They may also not be right for people who aren't at a high risk for their teeth shifting.
How Do I Care for My Permanent Retainer?
The most important aspect of caring for your permanent retainers is simply being very thorough with your oral hygiene. Permanent retainers make brushing and flossing more difficult, but they also come with an increased risk of cavities and gum disease if you don't take care of them properly. You will need to brush and rinse frequently and use a floss threader or Super Floss to get into all of the small spaces.
Continue to avoid the same foods you weren't allowed to eat with braces: foods that are hard, sticky or overly sweetened. These types of foods can increase your chances of cavities and of having your permanent retainer break. Call Dr. Kwong right away if a wire does break or if your permanent retainer isn't fitting properly anymore.
How Long Will I Have to Wear A Permanent Retainer?
Despite its name, you may not have to wear your permanent retainer forever. While you should expect to wear some type of retainer for pretty much the rest of your life, your dentist may recommend removing your permanent retainer and replacing it with a removable retainer at some point. This is generally done to protect your oral health, as cleaning around permanent retainers is more difficult.
When it comes time to get your braces off, speak to Dr. Kwong, your trusted Portage, MI orthodontist at Kwong Orthodontics, to see which type of retainer may be right for you.