After completion of orthodontic treatment,you will have a perfect smile and your retainers will ensure it stays that way!
Finally,your braces or Invisalign treatment is over and your beautiful smile is delivered. What now? Your teeth are naturally inclined to go back to their original position and you need retainers to maintain the teeth in their ideal position. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear retainers to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made for each person and can be removable or fixed( bonded).
- Removable retainers:There are two types of removable retainers that are made from impressions(molds) of your teeth.
1.Traditional "Hawley" retainers that include a metal wire that surrounds the teeth and keeps them in place and a plastic part that fits over the gums. The metal wires can be adjusted to keep retainers tight and perform minor movements when needed.
2. Clear (Aligner-style) or "Essix" retainers, look similar to Invisalign aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. These retainers have no metal or wire parts, do not cover the gums but only the teeth. They can't be adjusted or tightened to move the teeth. These retainers are the easiest retainers to wear during the daytime since they are invisible and don't interfere with speech as much as the other type.
- Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded (glued) behind the front teeth. difficulty to keep them clean and occasional breakage that requires an urgent appointment with the orthodontist is the negative sides of this type of retainer.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
- A fixed retainer is great if you don't want to keep track of it, or if you don't want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
- Teeth with fixed retainers require extra work to clean with brushing and flossing and also at hygienist visits to remove tartar . Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.