Retainers in Miami, FL

Preserve Your Straight Smile with Comfortable Retainers

Retainers play a crucial role in preserving the beautiful alignment achieved by braces. At the Centre for Invisible Braces, Dr. Stephen Grussmark emphasizes the importance of retainers after orthodontic treatment like Invisalign. Learn more about this essential step in your orthodontic journey by calling (305) 441-1200.

patient holding aligner and retainer

What Are Retainers?

Retainers are essential tools in orthodontics, serving a pivotal role in maintaining the corrected alignment attained through braces. They’re post-braces appliances, ensuring your smile retains its newfound perfection after orthodontic correction.

Types of Retainers

Removable Retainers

As the name suggests, removable retainers can be taken in and out of the mouth. They’re typically made of clear plastic or acrylic and fit over the teeth. Removable retainers are easy to clean and can be adjusted as needed. They’re a good option for patients who prefer a retainer that can be removed for eating or other activities. 

Common removable retainers include:

  • Hawley Retainers: These retainers are made of a combination of metal wire and acrylic and fit over the teeth.
  • Clear Aligner Retainers: These retainers are similar to clear aligners used in orthodontic treatment, and they’re made of transparent plastic material that fits over the teeth.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are attached to the back of the teeth using a dental adhesive. They’re made of a thin wire that runs along the inside of the lower or upper teeth. Fixed retainers are a good option for individuals concerned about losing or forgetting to wear their retainer, as they’re always in place and require no additional maintenance. 

However, fixed retainers can be more difficult to clean than removable retainers, and they may require more frequent dental checkups to ensure that they’re working effectively.

Common types of fixed retainers include:

  • Lingual Retainers: These retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth using a dental adhesive and consist of a thin wire that runs along the inside of the teeth.
  • Bonded Retainers: These retainers bond to the back of the teeth using a dental adhesive and consist of a small wire that runs along the inside of the lower or upper teeth.

When Do You Need Retainers?

Retainers play a multifaceted role, extending beyond the closure of the braces chapter. Understanding when they’re indispensable is crucial for sustaining that impeccable smile:

  • Post-Orthodontic Appliances: Retainers take center stage after orthodontic treatments. Their primary role is to safeguard the hard-earned alignment achieved during the orthodontic journey. Wearing them ensures teeth maintain their corrected positions, preventing any regression.
  • Minor Orthodontic Issues: Retainers aren’t exclusively for post-braces scenarios. They emerge as versatile solutions for minor orthodontic concerns that might not necessitate the comprehensive approach of braces. They offer a tailored, targeted approach to specific tooth adjustments.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD): Beyond their orthodontic role, retainers can be enlisted in the battle against temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). By providing additional support and contributing to the alleviation of associated symptoms, retainers become valuable tools in managing this condition.

Common Retainer Problems

girl holding toothbrushesMoisture Mishaps

  • Problem: Retainers drying out can affect their shape and function, leading to discomfort or poor fit.
  • Solution: Store retainers properly in a designated case when not in use. Soaking them in distilled water or using a retainer-specific moisturizing solution helps maintain their moisture.

Hygiene Challenges

  • Problem: Improper cleaning methods or using non-recommended solutions can lead to bacterial buildup, odor, or material degradation.
  • Solution: Follow cleaning instructions meticulously. Use a non-abrasive brush and an FDA-approved cleaning solution. Regularly sanitize your retainer by soaking it in a cleaning solution or using retainer-specific cleaning tablets.

Physical Damage

  • Problem: Retainers are prone to damage or breakage due to mishandling or accidental impact.
  • Solution: Handle them with care and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or physical stress. When not in use, keep them in their case. If damaged, consult your orthodontist promptly for repair or replacement.

Misplacement or Loss

  • Problem: Due to their small size, retainers can be easily misplaced or lost.
  • Solution: Always keep your retainer in its designated case when not in use. Establish a routine to prevent misplacement, and be cautious in public spaces to avoid accidental loss.

Discomfort or Soreness

  • Problem: Initially, removable retainers may cause discomfort or soreness due to pressure on the teeth or oral tissues as they help straighten teeth.
  • Solution: Gradually adapt to wearing the retainer by following your orthodontist’s instructions. If persistent discomfort occurs, consult your orthodontist for adjustments on the upper and lower teeth.

Wear and Tea:

  • Problem: Over time, wire retainers may wear down or become less effective.
  • Solution: Regularly inspect your retainer for signs of wear. Follow the recommended replacement schedule or consult your orthodontist if you notice any changes in the fit or functionality of your teeth retainer.

Caring for Teeth Retainers

man smilingCaring for your retainers is crucial to maintain their effectiveness and hygiene. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to properly care for your teeth retainers:

  • Cleaning Routine: Rinse your retainer with lukewarm water after each use to remove debris and prevent bacterial buildup. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild, non-abrasive soap or retainer cleaning solution to gently scrub your retainer. 
  • Soaking: Soak your retainer in a retainer-specific cleaning solution or a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar for about 15 to 30 minutes regularly to disinfect it.
  • Storage: Always store your retainer in a dedicated case when not in use. This prevents damage, loss, or exposure to environmental contaminants. 
  • Handling and Wear: Avoid bending or mishandling your retainer, as it can alter its shape and fit. Adhere to your orthodontist’s recommended wear schedule. 
  • Regular Check-ups: Attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist to ensure the retainer fits properly and is effectively maintaining your teeth alignment. 
  • Caution with Food and Drinks: Refrain from exposing your retainer to hot liquids, as this can distort its shape. You should also take out your retainer before eating to prevent damage and minimize exposure to food particles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you wear removable retainers?

Retainer wear duration varies. Initially, it’s often full-time for a few months, then transitioning to nightly wear for an extended period. Consult your orthodontist for personalized guidance.

How long do removable retainers last?

Retainers can last several years with proper care. However, they might need replacement due to wear or accidental damage. Typically, they endure for two to three years.

How much does it cost to get a new removable retainer?

The cost varies based on the type of retainer and your location. Check with your orthodontist for precise pricing. You can also contact your insurance provider for more coverage information.

Do I have to wear a removable retainer forever?

Initially, full-time wear transitions to nightly use. In most cases, wearing a permanent retainer is a long-term commitment to maintain your smile’s alignment. Your orthodontist can advise on a personalized plan.

Maintain Your Orthodontic Treatment Results with Retainers

Post-braces or for minor corrective measures, discover if a removable retainer suits your needs. Connect with us at any of our three Miami locations to schedule a consultation with Dr. Grussmark. Our skilled team will help you through your retainer journey so you can enjoy a stunning smile. Schedule a consultation by calling our Miami, FL, office at (305) 441-1200. We welcome patients from Coral Gables, Brickell, Pinecrest, and beyond.

Stephen Grussmark