Frequently Asked Questions About Retainers

Dentist Blog

In a way, retainers are like the baby versions of braces. If your orthodontist has recommended that you wear a retainer, you may have many questions about to expect from the experience. These answers to commonly asked questions can help you better understand what a retainer is and why you might need one. 

Q: What is a retainer? 

A: A retainer is a custom-made mouthpiece fits in the roof of the mouth and includes a wire that fits around the front of the teeth. 

Q: How do you get a retainer?

A: Retainers are made to fit the individual. They're created to conform to the roof of the mouth and the shape of the teeth. No retainer can properly fit anyone aside from the person for whom the retainer was built. To get a retainer, you must work carefully with an orthodontist who takes a cast of your mouth. The cast is then sent on to a technician who builds the retainer around the cast. 

Q: Under what circumstances would you wear a retainer?

A: Retainers get worn to either change or retain the shape of the mouth or change the behavior of the mouth. For example, retainers can be designed to make the teeth grow together, eliminating gaps between the teeth. Retainers can also be made to prevent the tongue from thrusting forward between the teeth while talking. Retainers are frequently used after braces are taken out of the mouth to prevent the mouth from going back to its old shape.  

Q: Does the retainer make it hard to talk?

A: Some retainers make it difficult to talk at first. Your family orthodontist may ask you to practice reading aloud for the first few days that the retainer is in your mouth. With practice, you will learn to talk around the retainer. 

Q: How can you care for a retainer?

A: Clean your retainer on a daily basis. Have your family orthodontist show you how to clean your retainer, because retainers get cleaned in different ways, depending on the type of retainer. 

Q: Can you eat while wearing a retainer?

A: You should take out your retainer before eating. Keep in mind that many retainers are lost when they get wrapped up in napkins and left on the table. Keep a case for your retainer on hand at all times, and keep that case in your bag or backpack. Do not put your retainer on the table when you take it out.

For more information about retainers, speak with a family orthodontist. He or she will be able to tell you more about retainers.


7 August 2015

Emergency Dental Care

The average dentist takes many client appointments each day and also deals with emergency situations on a regular basis. Dental emergencies are very common because people are likely to put off having tooth pain fixed until the pain becomes unbearable. Some people have anxiety about dental visits, and others are trying to avoid the expense of dental care. In either case, the end result is often a dental emergency. I have worked as a professional dental hygienist for many years and have seen all types of dental emergencies. I hope that this blog will help people identify potential emergencies before they become too serious and will allow people to know when to get help.