Basically there are two types of retainers – fixed and removable. In fixed type of retainer a wire is bonded on the inner side of the teeth towards the tongue and it stays there. Fixed retainers can stay in place indefinitely and dentist prefers to give fixed retainers in which the chances of relapse are high. But in case of fixed retainers you should visit your dentist regularly to make sure that they do not get loosened. You have to take real good care of your fixed retainer as they are the source of tartar build up.

The removable type can be removed. But initially they have to be worn full time except while eating after that they can be removed and can be worn only at night. The most common type is the Hawley retainer, which is made of a metal wire that surrounds the teeth and keeps them in place. It is anchored in a specially-molded, sometimes brightly colored acrylic form that sits in the palate or floor of the mouth. Top and bottom retainers are usually made as necessary.

 
          
Hawley retainer                                    Fixed Retainer
 

Problems Encountered with Retainers

Initially after the removal of braces you are given retainers you will encounter certain problems like:

1.   You will not be able to speak properly but reading loudly or speaking loudly for one day will take care of that problem.

2.   You will have lot of saliva in the mouth, even this problem will be gone by the end of first day as you become used to the retainer.

3.   Some times the retainers do not fit properly or they cause tissue soreness. In that case fix the appointment with your dentist and he will fix the problem.

Some people develop the habit of flipping the retainer with the tongue. This habit should not be developed as this will loosen the retainer and the chances of retainer breakage are there.

How to take care of retainers

The retainers come with the retainer case. If you want to keep the retainer clean and fresh then scrub them clean gently using mild detergent and warm or cool water. Do not use very hot water as it can wrap the retainer.

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