What is a Dental Retainer?

what-is-a-dental-retainer

If you have ever wondered, “What is a dental retainer?” we encourage you to visit our San Antonio family dentist office. We can straighten your teeth using a variety of orthodontics solutions, including braces and retainers. At Shepherd Dental P.C., our goal is to provide patients with the routine dental care they need to stay healthy and the cosmetic dentist services to love their smile – retainers are an important part of that.

Generally, a retainer is created out of clear plastic strong enough to hold your teeth in place while also being comfortable enough to wear. A dental retainer will surround your teeth completely for a snug and secure fit. They are most often worn after an orthodontics treatment has been completed and braces have come off. When wearing traditional metal braces, a bracket and wires remain on the teeth for anywhere from six months to two years. The braces apply continuous pressure and move teeth into the correct position. The teeth become accustomed to moving, and when the braces come off, there needs to be a solution that can hold them in place and prevent them from moving back to their previous position. This is what retainers do. They hold teeth in place.

Typically, a dental retainer is needed the majority of the day immediately following the removal of braces. After a few months, many patients can wear their retainers at night only, and this solution may be required for a couple of years or a lifetime, with each patient having different needs.

At Shepherd Dental P.C., we also realize that dental retainers have more than one application. A similar device, clear aligners, can be worn as an alternative to traditional braces in order to straighten teeth. While not standard retainers, clear aligners often look like them. The difference is that aligners are designed to apply specific pressure to the teeth in order to move them into the correct position. As such, they are generally worn for around two weeks at a time until they become loose and are then switched out for the next one in the series. Where retainers are designed to hold teeth in place and keep them in the same position, aligners are designed to move them toward that position. To learn more about orthodontics, braces, and retainers, call (210) 593-7620 to speak with our San Antonio, TX dental office.

When you schedule an appointment with our 78212 office, be sure to ask us about orthodontics, retainers, and braces, along with preventative dental care, dental cleanings and examinations, teeth whitening, nightguards, dentures, and any other dental procedures you are curious about. Our solutions are comprehensive, and we look forward to assisting you.

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