Retainers help to maintain the results of orthodontic treatment in the long-term.
Retainers are specially designed devices that are worn over the teeth to hold them in place after braces or other orthodontic appliances have been removed. There are a number of types of retainers available, each of which can be customised to suit the individual patient. They are designed to fit comfortably and securely and help to prevent relapse or movement of the teeth post-treatment. Retainer wear time varies depending on the type prescribed; some patients may need it for an extended period, while others may only need it at night.
Read on to find out more about the importance of retainers following orthodontic treatment, and how you should take care of yours…
What types are available?
Retainers are custom-made devices that help to keep the teeth in place after they have been straightened with braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic treatments. There are three main types of retainers: permanent; Hawley; and clear plastic retainers.
Permanent retainers involve the use of a wire that is glued to the inner side of the lower teeth. This prevents the teeth from shifting over time.
Hawley retainers, on the other hand, are removable and should be taken out for eating and cleaning. They are made from a combination of acrylic material and metal wires and are fabricated with the help of impressions and scans of the teeth to ensure a comfortable fit.
Clear plastic retainers are also removable. They are virtually invisible and designed to fit over the entire arch of teeth without the need for wires.
How do you clean your retainer?
No matter which type of retainer you have, it is important that you keep it clean in order to maintain your oral health. If you have a permanent retainer, be sure to clean it as part of your usual oral hygiene routine — take the time to clean the inner side of your teeth thoroughly, as well as the wire.
If you have a removable retainer, you should take it out of your mouth to clean it regularly. It is advisable that you rinse your retainer with water every time that you remove it; and that you clean it once a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. When you brush your retainer, do so gently so that you don’t cause scratches and other damage.
How can we help?
The end of orthodontic treatment can seem like a huge weight has been lifted. But don’t forget to wear your retainer as recommended by your orthodontist, even after you’ve had braces or other types of dental appliances removed. This will ensure that the results of your treatment last a lifetime, and that you can enjoy a healthy and straight smile in the long-term. Speak with your dentist about what type is best for you and how long you should use it for in order to achieve optimal results.
At Straight Orthodontics, we offer a comprehensive range of orthodontic solutions. We want our patients’ results to last for a lifetime, which is why we provided orthodontic retainers for patients who have completed treatment with braces and clear aligners.
We offer both permanent and removable retainers — the option that is most appropriate for you will depend on your particular needs, and you orthodontist will let you know which is best for you. The permanent retainers that we provide are glued to the inner side of the lower teeth in order to prevent shifting. When it comes to removable retainers, we offer a choice of two types: Hawley and Essix. Your orthodontist will explain how each type works and ensure that you receive the treatment that is most likely to maintain your beautiful smile.
To find out more about retainers and the different types that are available, please have a look here.
To book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call on 03 9585 8000.