A retainer is an orthodontic appliance used for dental therapy to bring correction in alignment of the jaw. Retainer therapy is used for the people who need dental braces and for the people who are facing the problem of sleep apnea. There are different types of retainer therapy appliances available and of these, the appliances used for sleep apnea are more like night guards. This is especially used to make the teeth settle down into the jaw bone and soft tissues that holds them and they can also be used for closing the gap or space between the teeth.

The retainers can also be used for the people with problems such as improper jaw alignment, loss of baby teeth, chewing or biting difficulty, teeth grinding or clenching etc.

Retainer therapies are given by dentists who are trained in treating the minor orthodontic problems. Once the dentist checks your teeth condition and gives you the retainers, you need to use them for a specific period of time the dentist suggests you. At the start, you may feel difficulty in using them and may also cause some pain your teeth and this can be adjusted by the dentist.

Until some time, the dentists will suggest you to use the retainers for a long time and some for a short period of time depending on the requirement of the problem. Some of the retainer appliances available for different dental or orthodontic problems are mentioned here.

Some of the types of appliances available for treating teeth and jaw problems are:

1. Space maintainers
These are simple and cost efficient appliances for holding your teeth. These can be customized depending on the space that your teeth are having. It is used mostly for the babies who lost their teeth. For them, this space maintainers will help to get the adjustment between the teeth lost and the other teeth that is, they fill the gap. With this retainers the teeth can’t move to the empty space were the teeth is lost. It is also used by adults to maintain the space between their teeth.

2. Paltal expanders
This is more helpful for children whose upper arch of the mouth is not wide. It’s ideal for kids between the age of 8-10 years. This retainer appliance widens the arch. This appliance is not recommended for adults. This is more costly and it can be covered with dental insurance.

3. Removable appliances
These removable appliances are like mouth guards, here the upper retainers are fixed to the upper roof of the mouth where as the lower retainers are removable. These appliances are often used after using the dental braces to fit the teeth in the jaw properly. If you don’t require the braces, replace retainer appliance sufficient for your teeth.

Apart from these retainer appliances for teeth and jaw problems discussed here, there are many other retainer appliances available for people with the problems stated above.