Braces vs. Retainer

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Difference between Braces and Retainer

Most of us would rather forget our teeth before having them straightened, but we are going to delve into the world of wearing braces and/retainers. They are both fixed devices that are designed to align our teeth and keep them straight. They are made for people who do not want to show a less than perfect smile, since nobody in their right mind would want to keep a set of crooked teeth. It seriously messes with the bite. If one has crooked teeth, under bite, over bite or misaligned teeth, it might be time to consider getting some braces and then retainers afterwards. When you go to the dentist, the orthodontist will ask various questions concerning your health. They will then compile impressions of your teeth and prep you for braces based on the assessment results.

Braces
Retainer

Why Braces?

Dental braces are devices used to make your teeth straight. People who have serious under bites, cross bites, over bites, open bits and/or crooked teeth will find braces to be of tremendous help. It is one of the many orthodontic appliances that can be used in lieu of other treatment methods in order to shape and mold the dental structure to an appealing state. Namely, children and teenagers are the majority of those who subscribe to such treatments although adults may use them also.

General Info On Braces

Braces come in many styles and types to choose from depending on the care needed. How braces work rely on the use of force. Arch wire is used and attached to the braces to push and pull the teeth towards a particular direction. A strong dental adhesive is used to bond and mold the braces to the teeth and then orthodontic spacers make room for inserting wires and after inserting the wires, the wires are then tightened for a length of time. After the wires begin to slack, a visit to the dentist will get them tightened again and the process is repeated until the teeth are straight.Traditional design is made of stainless steel or in a mixture with nickel. This is the most commonly used. There is a cosmetic alternative called, "clear" braces and it is used for blending in with the teeth so that everyone cannot see it readily. They are made of plastic or ceramic.If a patient is allergic to nickel, they may use gold-plated steel braces. Sometimes people just want to go for the gold. A more difficult and complex brace installation would involve the lingual braces. Lingual braces are inserted behind the teeth and makes installation and coping measures difficult.

Why Retainers?

Retainers are made of wire or plastic. They are designed to hold teeth in place after a certain treatment. Typically, they are used after braces are taken out to make sure teeth do not become misaligned again. There are 2 retainers; one for the bottom and one for the top. Initially, patients are instructed to wear them during daytime and then at night time. They are not supposed to eat or drink while wearing them. The best thing about retainers? They are removable by the patient.

Summary

  • Braces are used for long-term treatment to push teeth in and make them align properly
  • Wires are used to tighten the braces
  • People who have crooked or misaligned teeth use braces
  • People who successfully get their teeth straightened will then use retainers to keep them straight.
  • Those who make the investment never regret it

Which appliance do teens use most often?
  • Braces
  • Retainer
 
 

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • orthodontist wrote on April 2012

I gotta say... retainer...

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