After orthodontic treatment, it’s vital you wear a retainer as prescribed. At AppleTree Dental in Anaheim, California, Mike Kang, DDS, and his caring team regularly prescribe orthodontic retainers to adults and teens. The custom appliances help keep your teeth in the proper position, maintaining the appearance of your smile. To make an appointment for you or your child to get retainers, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

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What are retainers?

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that fits snugly over your teeth. It has a plastic or acrylic base and metal wires that snap onto your upper or lower dental arch.

Retainers play a crucial role in orthodontic treatment. After wearing braces or clear aligners, you transition to a retainer. The retainer helps keep your teeth in the optimal position, preventing them from moving out of place.

Are retainers always necessary?

Everyone who enrolls in orthodontic treatment eventually wears a retainer. That’s because your teeth don’t stay in their new positions even after wearing braces.

It takes several months or years for your bones, muscles, and gums to fully adjust. Additionally, daily speaking and chewing can cause your bite to change.

A retainer counteracts all of these forces, ensuring you achieve a positive outcome and long-lasting results.

What are the different types of retainers available?

AppleTree Dental offers two types of retainers, including:

Removable retainers

Removable retainers fit over your teeth like a mouthguard. They’re made of plastic or acrylic.

Fixed retainers

A fixed (or permanent) retainer stays inside of your mouth. Fixed retainers keep the teeth at the front of your mouth from moving apart or changing position over time. Your provider bonds the retainer to the back of your teeth, holding it in position.

What does getting retainers involve?

At AppleTree Dental, getting a retainer takes two visits spaced about a week apart.

After you’re finished wearing braces or clear aligners, your provider takes impressions of your mouth with the Medit i500® intraoral scanner. Then, they send your scans to an orthodontic lab that designs and manufactures a custom retainer.

When your retainer is ready, you return to AppleTree Dental about a week later. If it’s a fixed retainer, your provider bonds it to the back of your teeth. But if it’s a removable retainer, your provider asks you to try it on and explains how to clean and care for it.

How long do I need to wear my retainer?

AppleTree Dental recommends wearing your retainer for between 4-6 months*, only removing it to eat or brush and floss. After that time passes, your provider reevaluates your progress. At that point, you wear the retainer for the rest of your life, but only at night (when sleeping).

To explore the benefits of retainers, call AppleTree Dental or schedule an appointment online today.

*Individual results may vary