Retainers Santa Barbara CA | Orthodontic Retainer | Dental Retainer
Orthodontic Retainers Santa Barbara CA

Orthodontic Retainers

Orthodontic Retainers in Santa Barbara, CA

If your teeth are crooked, don't worry! Do you have an underbite or an overbite? We can fix that too! At See Me Smile Dental & Orthodontics in Santa Barbara, we have many options to give you that straight, beautiful smile that you've always wanted.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist with specialized, additional training in straightening and aligning teeth. Our Harvard-trained orthodontist, Dr. Hamid, will help you get the gorgeous smile of your dreams using the latest technologies. One such orthodontic technology is the retainer.

What Are Orthodontic Retainers?

An orthodontic retainer is a removable device that fits into your mouth. Retainers are used to keep your teeth in the right position. Typically, orthodontic retainers are instituted after a patient has completed using braces. Retainers are also used after surgery for severe overbites or underbites. And sometimes, an orthodontist may use a retainer by itself as the main treatment, without any other alignment methods such as braces.

What is a Removable Retainer?

Removable retainers are typically made with a thermoplastic and some wire. These are designed to be as comfortable as possible. When you remove the retainer, the wire attached to the retainer is also removed. You only wear the retainer for the time "prescribed" by your doctor - typically all the time for one year following braces, and nightly after that.

Removable retainers make it easy to enjoy your favorite food because you can take them out before eating. They make it easy to clean your teeth because you can remove them before brushing and flossing. Just be sure to treat your removable retainer with care and it should last a while before needing replacement.

What is a Fixed Orthodontic Retainer?

Fixed retainers involve a wire that is bonded to your teeth and cannot be removed except by the dentist. Also called a "bonded retainer" or a "permanent retainer," a fixed retainer is attached to the insides of your teeth, so they do not show when you smile. You do not have to worry about scheduling to wear them.

The challenge with permanent retainers is that they can sometimes interfere with chewing and make it more difficult to floss. Fixed or bonded retainers may be replaced with a removable retainer if it becomes difficult to clean or is found to be irritating the gums.

Removeable Retainers Santa Barbara CA
Orthodontic Retainers Santa Barbara CA

Why Do I Need to Use a Retainer?

Once you go through the process of getting braces, you will of course want to keep that beautiful new alignment to your teeth. A retainer helps you keep the shape that your braces created. Retainers basically stabilize the new alignment created by the braces.

It can take months for the bone and surrounding tissue to fully stabilize after the removal of braces. This is why it is important to wear retainers as your dentist recommends. Otherwise, you (or your child) may need braces again.

The retainers hold the new alignment and allow the soft tissue and bone to conform to the new position of the teeth.

What Habits and Conditions Might Also Increase the Need for a Retainer?

Some habits and conditions may increase the need for retainer use. These include:

  • Teeth grinding (which often happens while sleeping)
  • Mouth breathing (breathing through the mouth instead of the nose)
  • Playing certain types of musical instruments with the mouth (wind instruments)
  • Biting habits (pens, pencils, fingernails)
  • Genetic teeth rotation or poor spacing
  • Tongue postural issues (such as sitting low in the mouth)

How Does the Retainer Process Work?

Our friendly dental staff in Santa Barbara will give you a thorough exam, along with appropriate X-rays and other 3D imaging techniques, to determine the best path forward for straightening your teeth. Typically, patients require braces before moving onto retainers. When it is time to get your retainer, we will create a custom one just for you and your teeth.

Can My Retainer Have a Custom Look?

Both modern braces and retainers are available in different styles and colors, so we will work with you to find a "look" that you like.

What Happens After I Get My Retainer?

Dr. Hamid and our staff will show you exactly how to put in your retainer, take it out, and clean it. You will also get instructions on how often to wear it. Periodically, you will need to return to the office to check on your progress. Retainers can wear down, so they may need to be replaced occasionally, but they are very affordable!

Fixed Retainers Santa Barbara CA

How Do I Take Care of My Orthodontic Retainer?

Extending the life of your retainer is easy and just requires some routine care.

First, make sure you keep your retainer case with you and place your retainer in that case each time you remove it. For example, if you go to a restaurant, place your retainer in the case before you eat. Do not put it out on a table where it can get accidentally smashed or thrown onto the floor. It goes without saying that pets and toddlers are also dangers to retainers, so keep your retainer out of harm's way.

Keep the retainer away from high-heat, including car dashboards, especially when temperatures are over 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Do I Keep My Retainer Clean?

To clean the retainer, you can gently brush it with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap. You can also use denture cleaners to clear plaque and tartar.

If your retainer gets lost or broken, please contact us ASAP and we will help!


CALL (805) 284-0826

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