Removable vs Fixed Retainers

Before we can discuss the pros and cons of removable versus fixed retainers, we need to address what the purpose of the retainer is, the reason why wearing a retainer is necessary and the benefits of both. An orthodontic retainer is the last step in wearing orthodontic braces. You spend 18 months to two years moving your teeth to a new position in the upper or lower arch in your mouth and you don’t want to waste that time and effort. Let’s start with orthodontic braces, look at the different types of retainers, removable and fixed, and then the benefits of the entire process.

The Reasons for Wearing Braces

The most common reason for improper teeth alignment starts with genetics. It can then include how the permanent teeth erupted. The teeth could be crowded due to jaw proportions or incorrect jaw positions. You might have an overbite or an underbite or you bite the side of your cheek. All of these lead to a situation that can easily be corrected with an orthodontic appliance.

The Different Types of Orthodontic Braces

The traditional set of orthodontic braces features metal brackets and metal arch wires on the outside of the teeth. Pressure applied with the arch wire moves the teeth. The next version is a ceramic set of brackets and arch wire. This version is either clear or tooth colored and more difficult to see. The third option moves the brackets and arch wire to the inside of the teeth, so they now are not visible. The final process is the result of the introduction of digital technology. Your teeth are mapped in their existing location and then in the final desired location. A clear mouthguard then is digital designed to place in your mouth in which pressure is applied based on the design of the guard. The guard is exchanged every two weeks continuing to apply pressure through the digital redesign.

The Pros and Cons of Removable versus Fixed Retainers

The fixed retainer is the most trusted version. It alleviates any acts of forgetfulness on your behalf. Once the teeth have been moved periodontal ligaments or fibers under the tissue will want to pull the teeth back until they are stretched into their new length. The retainer buys you that extra time. Removable retainers can be like the clear guards, or even wire and plastic, and allow you to wear them overnight and remove during the day. Your consult with your dentist should encourage which retainer method will be necessary for the best results for your situation.

The Benefits of Enduring Orthodontic Corrections

Why would you consider going through the process for such a long period of time? Crooked teeth have a negative effect on the perception of a healthy smile. If you are self-conscious of your smile it will directly affect your self-esteem and your self-confidence, not only in personal circles but in social and professional interactions. A healthy smile has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, lead to a longer life expectancy and most importantly, contribute to your happiness and your quality of life. With these value-added benefits the orthodontic process now seems more than bearable.

More on Retainers : How Long Do I Wear a Retainer?