Retainer Info and Costs
Once your Invisalign or braces come off, there is a chance of your teeth shifting back slightly if the proper care is not taken throughout the remainder of your life. This proper care is the wearing of retainers. Retainers are the most effective method of ensuring that your teeth stay in their original place after your straightening device has been removed. At Braces and Invisalign in OC, we have a wide range of retainers to meet all of our patient’s needs.
If you have already completed your course of treatment, it is crucial for you to wear your retainer to maintain the final position of your teeth. There are several different kinds of retainers for patients to choose from. Keep reading for more information about the retainers offered here at Braces and Invisalign in OC.
The first kind of retainer is a fixed retainer. These are a notably valuable method of ensuring tooth stability. These are discreet, for they only consist of a metallic wire bonded to the back of the six front teeth. They can be bonded to the upper or lower teeth, or to both.
During the process of application, the retainer is bonded to the back of the patient’s teeth using white fillings. This will keep those six front teeth in their final position.
What are the benefits and risks of fixed retainers?
Fixed retainers are always going to be in place, so parents do not need to worry about reminding their kids to carry and wear their retainer at night. Additionally, fixed retainers assist in stabilizing any teeth that are mobile upon getting your braces removed. This will also reduce the overall risk of a relapse in any heavily rotated teeth.
On the con side, fixed retainers only handle the six front teeth on either or both sides. They cannot prevent the premolars or molars from moving. These retainers can also cause some dental hygiene problems, being that they are glued to the backs of the teeth. Some people also find it difficult to bite and chew with these in, being that they can touch the tips of the lower teeth.
The second kind of retainer is the Hawley retainer. Any patient hoping to improve the appearance of their smile via cosmetic dentistry should be good candidates for the Hawley retainer. This is a removable fixture made from plastic and stainless steel wire. This method of retention is commonly used after the removal of fixed braces and is provided as a follow-up treatment.
The best results with the Hawley retainer are seen when the patient wears the retainer for the majority of each day for three months after their braces are removed. After the end of the three months, wearing the retainer only at night will ensure the newly corrected teeth stay in place.
Most orthodontists normally recommend wearing the Hawley retainer for a few years following their treatment time, but others believe it should be worn until all facial growth has ceased.
How to take care of a Hawley Retainer?
To clean the Hawley retainer, just use a toothbrush and some soap. It is important not to use toothpaste because some of its ingredients can damage the plastic. Proprietary cleaning materials are also available for purchase.
This retainer is vital for patients who have recently gotten their braces off, for the teeth will almost definitely return to their original positions if it is not worn. If the patient misplaces the fixture at any point during treatment time, they should contact their orthodontist for an immediate replacement.
Vivera Retainers / Invisalign Retainers
The third kind of retainer is the Vivera/Invisalign retainer. These retainers were originally invented by Invisalign to provide retention after orthodontic treatment. Vivera retainers are manufactured in an extremely accurate fashion, making them very fitted.
They are designed using the same technology as Invisalign Westminster to ensure a smooth and comfortable fit and to prevent pain or discomfort. The technology is provided to members of the public in a series of three sets of upper and lower retainers. The advantage of having three sets is that patients do not have to rush back to the practice in the event that one breaks or gets lost.
Essix Clear Retainers
The last kind of retainer is the Essix clear retainer. The Essix retainer is made from a clear thermoplastic mold. Like other options, the removable, and almost invisible, retainer is designed to provide support to the teeth in an attempt to prevent them from moving out of their desired position.
This retainer is less obtrusive and more visually appealing than the Hawley retainer due to its natural-looking appearance. Additionally, the lack of wiring makes the fixture even less noticeable overall, which is ideal for any individual worried about the stigma attached to wearing a Hawley retainer.
The retaining rule for Essix retainers is usually:
Essix retainers require full-time wear (20-22 hours per day) for the first four months. After that, night time wear (twelve hours nightly) is required for the following twelve months. Then, alternative night time wear (also twelve hours nightly) is required. It is recommended that throughout this time, patients have their Essix retainer checked by their orthodontist during regular check-up appointments due to the fact that these retainers tend to wear down and may eventually need to be replaced.
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