If you’ve ever considered orthodontics, you’ve probably thought first and foremost about braces. When you have an issue with your smile, you visit an orthodontist who fits your teeth with braces. While this is typically how a treatment plan begins, every patient is different and so is every treatment plan. There are some instances where a retainer might be used before braces are ever put on the teeth, and some issues that can be treated using only a retainer.

What Do Retainers Do?

The most common usage for retainers is to help keep teeth in place after braces are removed. Retainers can also be used to correct mild spacing or mild crowing on one or two teeth. In these instances, a retainer may be prescribed to correct these issues before braces are considered.

Retainers Can Correct Spacing Issues

Retainers can be used to close gaps between the teeth and, depending on the size and severity of the gap, braces may not be necessary afterward. The retainer may be worn for a period of time (sometimes several years) to help close the gap. After the gap has been closed, the retainer will be worn to maintain the position of the teeth so the gap doesn’t reopen.

Retainers Can Correct Crowding Issues

Retainers may be used to correct a tooth that is misaligned. Perhaps there is a single tooth that moved following previous orthodontic treatment. This can happen when a retainer isn’t worn properly, is broken or is lost.

Retainers for Maintenance and Prevention

Retainers are important in the field of orthodontics as both prevention and maintenance devices. Many orthodontists turn to retainers to help patients before braces are even considered as part of their treatment plan.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we devise a plan that best meets your orthodontic needs! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started with our team today. We have orthodontist offices in Mount Pleasant and several other convenient Charleston area locations.