Before we delve deeper on which orthodontic appliance is best for you, let us first define the difference between braces and retainers. Basically, the main difference of braces from retainers is that braces are glued to your teeth, while retainers are movable (most of the time).
A brace comprises of a metal bracket and ring that is glued directly into your teeth. The metal bracket and ring are connected by stiff metal wire called arch wire, and commonly held in place by tiny elastic bands. A qualified dentist or orthodontist will evaluate the alignment of your teeth, jaw and face. Then, the dentist will form the wire to create a constant pressure on your teeth which will slowly realign your teeth. Using a very gentle and controlled force, the brace will guide your teeth in to correct alignment.
Basically, braces come in three types. They are the metal brackets and ceramic or plastic. The ceramic brackets type of braces is commonly tooth-colored or clean and is more discreet than the metal brackets. Both the metal and ceramic braces uses wire to aid the teeth align in correct position. Other than metal, ceramic or plastic braces, there is a new alternative that is clear, removable and customized brace called aligners. These braces are virtually invisible and removable so they will not trap food and plaque between your teeth. Aligners may be an option for adults with minimal spacing problem but not a good option for children and adolescents.
Retainers, on other hand are commonly used after braces are removed. It a custom-made piece of plastic and metal, created for each individual. All retainers may look all the same, but no retainers are alike because it should be formed according to teeth and mouth of the wearer. Just like braces, the function of a retainer is to slowly pressure the teeth to become properly spaced and aligned. In fact, most of the people had braces have to wear braces for several months to reinforce the changes made by braces. However, unlike braces, retainers can be removed. Most of the treatment would only require the patient to wear the retainer for a few hours each day. Commonly, retainers are used to correct minor problem like closing mild teeth gaps.
So, what’s best for you? The best to know is to visit your dentist Butler to advise you which treatment is best for you. Typically, the fitting of braces and retainers is done by an orthodontist not by a dentist. Fitting of braces and retainers are basic restorative dentistry procedure to help you regain the beauty of your smile.