Wearing an orthodontic retainer is a rite of passage for anyone who has worn dental braces. It marks the final stage of your orthodontic treatment plan. Colored retainers are available to help add a little personality to an otherwise average-looking device.
After your dental braces come off, your dentist or orthodontist will fit you for an orthodontic retainer. The job of this removable device is to keep your teeth in place as they settle into the jawbone and soft tissue at their new location. This can take a while, and your dentist may recommend that you wear your retainer full time for the first several months, then just at night after that. The good news is that like dental braces, today’s orthodontic retainers can be designed to fit your particular style. Why not have some fun with it?
There are several different types of retainers, and your dentist or orthodontist will determine which is best for you. The most common is a Hawley retainer, which is made of acrylic that is molded to the shape of your mouth and contains a wire to hold your teeth in place. The acrylic part of the retainer can be made in traditional flesh tone or you can get creative with it.
How creative? Retainers come in an array of different colors, from glow in the dark to neon and tropical. There are decals and glitters to choose from, even fun designs. Think stars and stripes, music notes and happy faces and you get the idea. More artistic types might even choose to create a customized design. Just keep in mind that your canvas is the size of a quarter!
Remember: These vivid colors and fancy designs are mostly for your amusement. The only part of the retainer anyone else will see while you’re wearing it is the metal wire holding your teeth in place.
Make It Your Own
Designing the appearance of your retainer will depend in part on your dentist or orthodontist. That’s because your choices are limited to the specific laboratory your dentist uses to create the retainer. Some labs have more options than others. If you want to make your own design, you’ll need to discuss it with your dentist to make sure the art will work with the retainer being made for you — and that the lab can fulfill your request.
Once you and your dentist choose your colored retainer, your order will be sent to the lab. Your retainer will be ready in about a week.
Colored retainers usually cost only a little more than the standards. Customized design prices will depend on the of the work.
Wear & Care
Whatever type of retainer you and your dentist or orthodontist choose, wearing it regularly is what counts. And now that you’ve spent the time and care to personalize your retainer, that should be a little easier. Don’t forget to take care of it, either. Speak with your dentist to find out how to keep your retainer clean and store it properly.
Colored retainers allow you to choose one to fit your style. Hopefully, you’ll want to wear yours! Make sure to visit your dentist regularly, too. Good oral hygiene will help ensure that your perfectly straight teeth are as healthy as they look!