The transition from braces to the next phase of orthodontic treatment often raises questions about the necessity and comfort of the next steps. Retainers for teeth are a crucial component in this journey, ensuring that the hard-earned results of braces are maintained. At Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, FL, we specialize in providing top-quality retainers to maintain the beautiful smiles we create.
Retainers are essential tools in orthodontic care, designed to keep teeth in their proper position after braces or other orthodontic treatments. Under the expert guidance of Dr. Scott Runnels, D.M.D., P.A., we are dedicated to providing superior retainers to ensure the longevity of your orthodontic results.
What Are Retainers?
Retainers are orthodontic devices meticulously crafted to preserve the alignment of teeth after removing braces or to address minor misalignments. These devices are pivotal in the post-orthodontic treatment phase, acting as a safeguard to prevent teeth from relapsing to their original positions.
The natural tendency of teeth to shift over time poses a challenge to maintaining the results achieved through braces. Retainers, therefore, serve as a critical tool in ensuring that investing time, effort, and resources in orthodontic treatment yields lasting results. They are essential in the long-term maintenance of a well-aligned and aesthetically pleasing smile.
Runnels Retainers: Our Choice for Post-Orthodontic Care
Runnels Retainers help our Panama City Beach and Destin-area patients maintain the beauty and alignment of their smiles after braces with convenience and discretion. Runnels Retainers are clear plastic retainers that our patients can wear to keep their teeth from shifting positions after orthodontic treatment. Unlike traditional retainers, which often show a metal wire across the fronts of patients’ teeth and may not be replaced for years, Runnels Retainers are totally invisible and patients receive four sets of retainers.
Runnels Retainers are custom-crafted for each patient using state-of-the-art 3-D digital imaging for the perfect fit. What’s more, Runnels Retainers are made from a proprietary thermoplastic material that is extremely durable, absolutely clear, and very comfortable. While traditional retainers often show a thin metal wire across the fronts of a patient’s teeth, Runnels Retainers are totally transparent and virtually undetectable to the average observer. Runnels Retainers are suitable for both adult and child orthodontics patients and can help preserve the appearance of smiles perfected with all types of braces.
To learn more about how you can maintain ideal tooth placement and alignment without the hassle and look of traditional retainers, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Runnels to determine whether Runnels Retainers are a good fit for you.
Benefits of Retainers
Prevents Teeth from Shifting
Retainers play a crucial role in stabilizing the position of teeth after orthodontic treatment. By wearing retainers as prescribed, individuals can ensure their teeth remain in their new, correct positions, preventing the natural tendency of teeth to shift back over time.
Maintains Bite Alignment
After braces or other orthodontic treatments, retainers help maintain the correct alignment of the bite. This is essential for ensuring that the upper and lower teeth continue to fit together properly, which is important for chewing efficiency and oral health.
Aids in Speech Improvement
For some individuals, orthodontic treatment and the use of retainers can improve speech impediments related to teeth positioning. By keeping the teeth in their ideal positions, retainers can help maintain the improvements in speech clarity achieved through orthodontic correction.
Supports Oral Hygiene
Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Retainers help keep teeth in their aligned position, which can enhance the effectiveness of brushing and flossing by allowing better access to all surfaces of the teeth.
Cost-Effective in the Long Term
Investing in and diligently wearing retainers can save money in the long run by avoiding further orthodontic treatment due to teeth shifting back to their original positions. This preventive measure ensures the longevity of the orthodontic results, making it a cost-effective choice for maintaining a healthy, straight smile.
Frequently Asked Questions About Retainers
How Long Do You Need to Wear Your Retainer?
The duration you need to wear your retainer varies based on individual orthodontic treatment plans and the type of retainer prescribed. Initially, you may be advised to wear your retainer full-time, day and night, except during eating and oral hygiene practices, for the first several months to a year after your braces are removed.
After this period, we might recommend transitioning to wearing the retainer only at night. The need for retainer wear can be lifelong, especially for nighttime use, to ensure teeth do not gradually shift back to their original positions. The exact timeline varies from person to person, so it’s essential to follow the specific guidance provided by your orthodontist.
Can You Eat With Your Retainer In?
For removable retainers, it’s generally recommended to remove them while eating. Eating with a retainer can trap food particles between the retainer and your teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It could also damage the retainer. Fixed retainers do not need to be removed, but extra care should be taken to clean around them thoroughly after meals to maintain oral hygiene. Always follow your instructions on retainer care and maintenance, including guidance on eating habits.
How Do You Clean Your Retainer?
Cleaning your retainer is crucial for oral health and the device’s longevity. For removable retainers, brush them gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water after each use.
Avoid using hot water, which can warp the plastic. Non-abrasive toothpaste or mild soap can be used, but some orthodontists recommend avoiding toothpaste as it can scratch the surface, making it more prone to bacteria.
Regular flossing with a floss threader and brushing around the wire are essential for fixed retainers to remove plaque and food debris. We may also recommend specific cleaning solutions for deep cleaning your removable retainer.
What Should You Do If Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit Anymore?
A retainer that doesn’t fit properly may indicate that your teeth have shifted, which could require adjustments to your retainer or additional orthodontic treatment to realign your teeth. Do not attempt to force the retainer into place, as this could cause damage to your teeth or the retainer.
If your retainer no longer fits, it’s crucial to contact us immediately. We will assess the situation and determine the best action to ensure your teeth remain in their correct positions.
Will Wearing a Retainer Affect Your Daily Life?
Wearing a retainer should have minimal impact on your daily life. Initially, you may experience a slight adjustment period, particularly with speech or while getting accustomed to the retainer’s presence in your mouth. However, these minor issues usually resolve quickly as you become used to wearing the device.
Removable retainers offer the flexibility to be taken out for eating, brushing, and flossing, ensuring they fit seamlessly into your daily routine. Fixed retainers are even less intrusive since they stay in place permanently and require no extra effort beyond regular oral hygiene practices. With proper care and maintenance, retainers should not significantly affect your daily activities or oral health routine.
Learn More About Our Runnels Retainers in Destin, FL
Runnels Retainers help our Panama City Beach and Destin-area patients maintain the alignment of their teeth after orthodontic treatment with comfort, convenience, and discretion. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, or if you have already had your teeth straightened and would like a more modern replacement for your traditional retainers, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about Runnels Retainers and whether they may be a good solution for you.
To learn more about how you can maintain ideal tooth placement and alignment without the hassle and look of traditional retainers, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Runnels to determine whether Runnels Retainers are a good fit for you. Contact us online or reach out directly by calling us at (850) 269-0333 to schedule your consultation. We are dedicated to providing you with personalized care and guidance, ensuring a smooth and seamless transition from braces to retainers.