Wearing braces can help align teeth over time and improve the appearance of a smile. However, loosened ligaments can cause teeth to return to their original position after removing these appliances. Dentists recommend wearing retainers for some period of time to prevent teeth from shifting. Lovett Dental Sharpstown provides orthodontic services such as fitting metal retainers to improve the effectiveness of dental procedures.
Features of Plastic Retainers
Plastic retainers consist of a transparent material made with the impression of the user’s teeth. This device is less visible compared to other models and fits directly over teeth. It is also less bulky and may not alter speech, unlike some types of retainers.
Despite these benefits, plastic retainers have some features that make them less preferable to some people. For instance, they are not adjustable after fitting and are more challenging to clean than metal retainers. They also wear out quickly, are irreparable, and require replacement approximately every year.
Other than that, plastic retainers do not allow teeth to touch naturally, which might be uncomfortable for some users. They are also prone to discoloration and can deform when exposed to high temperatures. Another disadvantage of these devices is that they trap liquids between their inner surface and the enamel, which increases the risk of teeth decay if not cleaned properly.
Features of Metal Retainers
Metal retainers are dental appliances that are available in removable and permanent forms. The most common type of removable retainers is the Hawley model, which consists of metal and acrylic parts. The metal parts hook onto six anchor teeth while the acrylic ones sit on the mouth’s roof.
Orthodontists often recommend wearing a removable retainer continuously for a specific period. After that, they may advise using it only at night or during the day several times a week. Permanent metal retainers consist of a light wire glued to the backside of the teeth. These types of devices are ideal for self-conscious people since they are not easily visible.
Metal retainers have various advantages that make them more desirable compared to plastic ones. These benefits include:
- They are less costly.
- They are more durable.
- Removable metal retainers are adjustable to the recommended shape and size.
- A user cannot misplace permanent metal retainers.
How to Clean Metal and Plastic Retainers
Proper retainer cleaning prevents the buildup of bacteria and protects teeth and gums from infection. The method applied in the process may differ depending on the material and type of retainer. Cleaning a permanent metal retainer involves brushing it during a regular oral hygiene routine. It is also vital to floss the region below the wire to prevent the accumulation of food particles. Since it may be challenging to observe optimum oral hygiene when wearing this appliance, it is advisable to obtain professional teeth cleaning.
On the other hand, cleaning removable metal and plastic retainers involves placing them in warm water for some seconds. After that, you can use a mild soap, a toothbrush, and a cotton swab to remove food particles. The next step is to rinse the device with warm water and place it back in the mouth or a storage case. In some cases, a dentist may recommend disinfecting a retainer with an ultrasonic machine and a cleansing solution.
Get Quality Retainers at Lovett Dental Sharpstown
Wearing a retainer for the recommended period can maintain teeth position after the removal of dental braces. At Lovett Dental Sharpstown, we offer orthodontic services like fitting, cleaning, and removing metal retainers. Our specialists can advise on the most appropriate type of retainer for a patient, depending on various factors. Furthermore, they will educate you on how to observe good oral hygiene when using such appliances. Contact Lovett Dental Sharpstown at 972.848.8947 today to book an appointment for the fitting of retainers or complete our convenient online form for more information.