You’ve worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way! Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn’t quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you’ll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. If you or your child plays sports, then a mouthguard would be necessary as well. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed. Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer may fit over the entire arch of your teeth, or only from canine to canine (clip-on retainer). It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth. Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is usually required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.
Dr. Mizrahi offers three types of retainers:
A traditional retainer is a simple device with a wire that travels across the front of your teeth, which is held in place by an acrylic arch that fits snugly over the roof of your mouth or under your tongue. Dr. Mizrahi can adjust the metal wire to increase tension, keeping your teeth straight.
If you want a more subtle follow-up retainer, Essix retainers offer a great solution. The custom-made aligners fit over your teeth, and you can remove them for cleaning and eating.
With a fixed retainer, Dr. Mizrahi bonds wire behind your top or bottom teeth (or both), which provides a solution you don’t have to think about.
To determine which option is best for you or your child, sit down with Dr. Mizrahi to discuss your lifestyle and your goals.
Retainer Benefits & Considerations
• Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
• Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
• A fixed retainer is great if you don’t want to keep track of it, or if you don’t want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
• Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.
Mouthguards are pivotal for those high-lead high-intensity lives. Protect the smile you worked so hard to perfect with treatment here in Forest Hills, NY.
For the active child, injuries caused by a ball to the mouth or other sports-related accidents aren’t all that uncommon, which is where a good mouthguard makes all the difference. At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, Dr. Mizrahi wants to make sure that your child’s dental health is fully protected as they take the field or court, which is why he offers custom-made mouthguards designed for his active patients in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. If you’d like to learn more, simply request a free consultation today!
Mouthguards & Retainer FAQ
You may have many questions about your orthodontic appliances. Find out more information on mouthguards and how they differ from retainers here!
Why Do I Need a Retainer?
After Dr. Mizrahi gets your child’s teeth (or your teeth) to their desired positions, you want to do all that you can to preserve these great results. For children, especially, teeth can shift again after the braces come off, which is why you want to ensure long-lasting results with a retainer.
A retainer keeps your teeth in place once the support of the braces is gone, preventing them from shifting back. A retainer stabilizes your teeth, allowing time for the roots below to “cement” the results into place.
How Long Do Retainers Last?
The answer to this question depends upon which option you choose.
If you opt for a traditional retainer or an aligner, you have the advantage of being able to remove it for cleaning and eating. This also means you have the opportunity to break or lose it. With the right care, which means proper cleaning and storage, these retaining devices should last for a year or more after Dr. Mizrahi removes your braces.
If you opt for a fixed retainer, you can keep the device on your teeth for as long as you want, making it easier for Dr. Mizrahi to go in and correct any position issues down the road. You do have to take care to brush thoroughly around the framework, which can collect plaque buildup.
To put the finishing touch on your teeth straightening, call Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates to explore your options in retainers.
Why Does My Child Need A Mouthguard?
One of the best things you can do for a developing child is to make sure that all of their systems come online without interruption, setting them up for optimal health well into adulthood. A very important area to monitor is your child’s dental health. As baby teeth make way for more permanent teeth, their mouths are constantly changing, making their teeth more vulnerable to damage.
This means that any steps you take to preserve your child’s teeth are steps in the right direction. A mouthguard is one such step, which protects your child’s oral health as they engage in sports that come with small balls, bats, clubs, and other potential hazards.
If your child is active in sports, they’re not only at risk for losing teeth — a blow to the mouth can seriously harm their gums and surrounding tissue, including their lips. A mouthguard keeps their teeth safe and secure behind a protective barrier.
Why Should I Get A Custom Mouthguard?
While most pharmacies offer “boil and bite” mouthguards, these devices aren’t nearly as effective as a custom-designed mouthguard that fits snugly over your child’s teeth.
Over-the-counter mouthguards don’t offer the same fit, and the materials are often not as durable.
Dr. Mizrahi understands the forces that your child’s mouth can encounter while playing sports, which is why he offers mouthguards that are tear-resistant, comfortable, and dependably secure.
How Often Should I Get a New Mouthguard?
The answer to this question boils down to two things:
- The care your child provides for their mouthguard
- The development of your child’s teeth
Custom mouthguards are made from tough materials that are designed to last, but only if your child takes good care of the device. This means:
- Washing it after each use
- Storing it properly
- Keeping it out of the sun or hot water
If your child’s mouth is still developing, you need to ensure that the mouthguard fits snugly at all times. Dr. Mizrahi watches over your child’s development and alerts you when you need a new mouthguard, so you should bring the mouthguard to your regular appointments.
Even if your child’s teeth are fully developed, Dr. Mizrahi still recommends that you get a new mouthguard at the beginning of each sports season to ensure optimal protection.