Braces are among the most innovative types of dental appliances to be introduced to the dental industry. They allow you to fix any crooked or misaligned teeth as well as close up any gaps that exist between teeth. The amount of time that you have to wear braces depends upon your individual dental situation, but once the braces have slowly moved your teeth into the desired positions to straighten them, what’s to keep them from shifting back into place again? The answer is retainers.
What Are Colored Retainers?
Retainers are the devices that go into place over the teeth, and they are usually required after undergoing orthodontic treatment in order to keep the teeth from relapsing back into their original positions. While traditional retainers have a metallic, clear or flesh color, in more recent times, more options have been introduced to the market to appeal to those groups of people who don’t necessary want to have a plain retainer in their mouths. Colored retainers are simply retainers that have a color to them. Colored retainers are a fun option that is most often favored by children and teens, but even some young and older adults choose to wear them as well.
Types of Colored Retainers
There are three primary types of retainers, all of which come with the option of having them in a color.
The first and most common type of retainer is known as the Hawley retainer. It has a plastic bit that is connected to the metal wiring and either fits behind the lower teeth if the retainer is to be worn on the lower teeth or on the palate of the upper part of the mouth if the retainer is to be worn on the upper teeth. A thin metal wire then runs along the top of the teeth to hold them in place. This retainer is the one that most people have to wear for a specified period of time after getting their braces taken off. It is removable and might have to be worn during the day or at night. When people choose to get the colored option of these, the plastic part of the retainer is the part that possesses the color. This makes it so that when the wearer speaks or removes the retainer, the color is seen rather than the traditional flesh color that these types of retainers usually possess. Some people prefer the colored version of these because they feel that it doesn’t look as gross when removed at meals since you can’t wear these types of retainers when eating.
The bonded retainer is another type of retainer. This is the type of retainer that is bonded directly to the back of the teeth. The advantage to this type of retainer is that you don’t have to worry about removing it during meals or any time for that matter. If you decided to go with the color option with this retainer, then the plastic part is the part that will have the color.
A vacuum-formed retainer is the type of retainer that doesn’t feature any metal and fits over the teeth like a vacuum, hence its name. Although these types of retainers are traditionally clear, patients can elect to get them in fun colors if they wish. This type of retainer grips the teeth tightly and, like the Hawley retainer, cannot be worn while eating.
How Long Do I Have to Wear Colored Retainers?
The amount of time that you have to wear your colored retainers depends largely upon the reason why you are supposed to be wearing the retainers in the first place. For instance, people who are supposed to wear retainers at night for nighttime breathing and comfort reasons might be advised to wear them for the rest of their lives. However, people who are simply supposed to wear them as part of post-orthodontic treatment might only have to wear theirs for anywhere from six months to four years, depending upon their orthodontists’ recommendations.
Colgate. “Retainers for teeth: Why wear them and how to keep them safe.” Retrieved on March 5, 2016, from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/adult-orthodontics/article/sw-281474979341441.
British Orthodontic Society. “Retainers.” Retrieved on March 5, 2016, from http://www.bos.org.uk/Public-Patients/Orthodontics-for-Children-Teens/Treatment-brace-types/Retainers.
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