Retainers Vs Dental Braces: What’s the Difference?

Retainers Vs Dental Braces

Braces are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. About 15 years ago, you would never have heard of adults wearing braces. They were thought to be only for children. However, in today’s world of social media and selfies, image is everything. And nothing says “image” like a beautiful smile. That is why more and more adults are seeking braces. What some people don’t realize is that there are many different types of dental braces to suit every need. We’ll explain that in a bit. However, what they all have in common is that they would need retention after the treatment is complete. That means preserving the position of the teeth in their new place lest they relapse into their original state. So, that’s why it’s not “retainers vs dental braces” as much as a conversation about how they serve each other.

Types of Braces

1. Metallic Braces

The good old-fashioned form of braces that is still the gold standard nowadays. These are the metal brackets, wires, and colorful elastics that you see some children wearing at school.

2. Clear Braces

The same concept and mode of action as metal braces. However, the brackets are made of a clear ceramic material and the wires are treated with a white covering. This makes the whole assembly better looking.

3. Invisalign

One of the greatest innovations in the field. This system has no brackets or wires. Instead, it uses a number of invisible molds that fit onto the teeth and push them into the desired position.

4. Lingual Braces

These are placed on the inside rather than the outside surface of the teeth. They look far better. However, they can be a bit annoying to the tongue.

What Are Retainers?

Retainers are devices the orthodontist uses after the treatment is finished to preserve the new position of the teeth. There are two kinds of retainers:

1. Permanent Retainers

These are small, thin metal wires placed on the inside of the teeth.

2. Removable Retainers

These are more common and consist of a mold and a wire designed to keep the teeth in place.

Retainers Vs Dental Braces: What’s the Difference?

The main difference is the purpose of the device. Braces – all kinds – are designed to apply forces to the teeth, thus moving them to the desired location. Retainers, however, exert no force and are passive devices with the sole purpose of keeping the teeth where they are.

In other words, retainers and braces go hand in hand. One is not used without the other. If you would like to learn more, our experts are here to lend a helping hand.

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