Retainer Options After Kyle Braces

Your Kyle braces have finally come off! Now there’s no need to ever worry about your teeth again, right? Well . . . not quite. You want to keep your new smile looking beautiful for years to come, and the best way to do that is by wearing a retainer. At Oldham Family Orthodontics in Kyle, we offer a couple different types of retainers, depending on your unique situation. Let’s go over the basics of retainers in Kyle and how to take care of them!

Who Should Wear a Retainer?

Once you’re done with Invisalign or braces, your Kyle orthodontist will fit you for a retainer. A retainer is an appliance that is worn after Buda orthodontic treatment is completed to ensure your teeth stay in place. Some retainers in Buda are made of plastic, some out of wire, and some out of both. Dr. Oldham will assess your case and decide which type of retainer is right for you, and if a permanent retainer is the way to go.

Why Do I Need a Retainer?

If you don’t wear a retainer on a regular basis after Kyle braces, it’s easy for your teeth to go right back to where they were before you got braces on. Maybe they will shift slightly, or maybe they will shift a lot, but no matter what, they will shift! You don’t want that gorgeous smile you spent so much time fixing to change and have to be fixed all over again just a few years down the road. Most people wear removable retainers for at least 12 months after braces come off. For the first 4-6 months after treatment is complete they should be worn all day every day except while eating or drinking. After that your orthodontist may approve you to wear them just at night. Exactly how long you will wear a retainer is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Different Types of Retainers

Permanent Retainers

Depending on your individual case, Dr. Oldham may want to put in a permanent retainer on the back of your bottom or front teeth, or both. A permanent retainer is basically a wire that is bonded to the backside of your teeth, so it is invisible from the front and also impossible to take out. Once it’s there you don’t have to worry about it, unless you feel it coming loose or getting out of place. The only downside to this type of retainer is that they can be hard to clean. Using a water pick or getting floss in between the wires is a great way to avoid plaque buildup.

Removable Wire Retainers

Dr. Oldham doesn’t use these types of retainers much any more, but they are still an option for those who want them. They are made up of wire and plastic, and the most recognizable as a traditional “retainer”. With a wire across the front of the teeth, the plastic sits along the roof of your mouth and can make you have a slight lisp when you first start wearing it. Because of the way this retainer is designed, your teeth will still touch in a natural way. They are easy to clean and can last for quite a long time.

Clear Plastic “Invisalign-Look Alike” Retainers

If you’ve ever met someone who has Invisalign in Kyle, or maybe you yourself just finished Invisalign treatment in Buda, you’ll know that Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible! Clear plastic retainers look incredibly similar to Invisalign trays, and are hard to notice. Because they are made of just plastic material, they don’t last as long as other types of retainers and may have to be replaced eventually. These can get lost easily, so when they are taken out to eat or drink, they should be kept secure in a retainer case so they are not accidentally thrown away!

What Exactly Do Retainers Do?

Preserve Your Bite

When you have Buda/Kyle braces, it’s not just your teeth that are affected. The tissue and bone in your mouth are also working hard to adjust. A retainer allows everything in your mouth to get used to the new arrangement and gives your teeth a better chance of staying in the right positions. If you had an overbite, underbite, or crossbite that was corrected, you want to ensure that you are putting an equal amount of pressure on the right teeth when chewing to avoid teeth cracking or becoming worn down.

Give Your New Teeth Space

With Phase 1 orthodontics becoming more common, kids around ages 8-12 are wearing braces before all their adult teeth have grown in. If kids are diligent about wearing their retainers after braces, the retainers will maintain the space for those adult teeth to come and drop into the right positions to help as you get older and for phase 2 braces. If your child had a lot of crowding in their mouth prior to Kyle/Buda braces and finished treatment with lots of space for those new teeth to fill, not wearing their retainer could cause crowding again, meaning more extensive treatment down the road.

Keep Your Teeth in Line

Most braces are only on for about 18 months to 2 years, and that’s not enough time for your mouth to understand that “this” is where your teeth belong. Retainers prevent your teeth from reversing back into their old arrangement and keep that smile looking orderly and the teeth stable.

Taking Care of Your Retainers

It can be easy for retainers to get smelly and gross after wearing them consistently throughout the day and night. You should continue to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, or any time after you eat or drink anything other than water. Since most people consume three meals a day, it’s important to clean your teeth before popping that retainer back in. Doing so will help you avoid food debris and buildup on your orthodontic appliance. You can also use lukewarm water and a soft bristle toothbrush to gently brush your retainer from time to time. Be sure any time you are eating that you store your retainer in its plastic case so it doesn’t get misplaced or lost. With a permanent retainer, do your best to remove plaque buildup and floss between the wire as often as possible.

Select Oldham Family Orthodontics in Kyle

Board-certified Kyle orthodontist Dr. Maxwell Oldham and our staff are excited to offer comprehensive orthodontic treatment to everyone in the Kyle, Buda, and San Marcos area. Our treatment plans are tailored to your individual needs, and we’ll make sure your retainer is, too!

If you’re thinking about Buda braces, Invisalign in Kyle, or another form of treatment, Dr. Oldham has the right education and expertise to solve your individual case.

“We absolutely have been nothing but impressed by this office and all staff. We are always taken care of right away and I love the flexible hours.” –Facebook Review from Candace U.

If you live in Kyle, San Marcos, or Buda, orthodontics has never been easier.

We provide Kyle/Buda braces and Invisalign in Kyle to kids, teens, and adults.

Call us today at 512-256-7886 to schedule your FREE orthodontic consultation!