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Retainers After Braces and How They Work

Retainers play a vital role in maintaining the results of orthodontic treatment, and there are several types to choose from. Let’s explore the various teeth retainer options available to help you preserve that perfect smile.

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer is one of the most traditional types of retainers. This dental retainer is a molded acrylic piece that sits against the roof of the mouth and is connected to a wire that encircles the front of the teeth. You may add a personal touch by customizing the acrylic portion with various shades and designs.

Hawley retainers are known for their durability and adjustability. If there are any changes in your teeth alignment, your orthodontist can make necessary adjustments to ensure a snug fit. While these teeth retainers may be bulkier compared to other types, many individuals appreciate the customization options and the fact that they are removable.

Essix Retainers

If you prefer a more discreet option, Essix retainers might be the right choice. Essix retainers are clear retainers that are nearly invisible when worn, as they are made from transparent plastic. They closely resemble clear aligners but are designed to maintain the current position of your teeth rather than moving them.

Essix retainers are custom-made to fit your teeth precisely. They are removable, making cleaning your teeth and the retainer itself easier. However, their transparent material requires diligent care to prevent discoloration and distortion. Despite this, many individuals like the subtlety of Essix retainers, particularly those who wish to conceal their orthodontic treatment.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers offer a more permanent solution for those who prefer a hands-free approach to retention after an orthodontic treatment. These teeth retainers consist of a thin wire bonded to the back of the front teeth, usually on the lower jaw. Once in place, you can go about your daily activities without worrying about removing or cleaning a retainer.

Fixed retainers effectively prevent relapse, as they constantly work to maintain the alignment of your teeth. However, they require meticulous oral hygiene to avoid plaque buildup around the wire. Regular dental check-ups are crucial to ensure the fixed teeth retainer is intact and doing its job.

Vivera Retainers

Vivera retainers, developed by the makers of Invisalign, combined cutting-edge technology with the ease of removable devices. Similar to Essix retainers, Vivera retainers are clear retainers made from transparent plastic. However, they are created using 3D imaging and printing technology for enhanced precision and durability.

One key advantage of Vivera retainers is their longevity. They are typically replaced less frequently than other types of removable retainers. The precision in their manufacturing ensures a secure fit, contributing to the retention of your beautifully aligned teeth.

Selecting a suitable teeth retainer is essential to ensuring your orthodontic investment lasts long. Every form of dental retainer has advantages, whether you choose the traditional Hawley design, the discreteness of Essix, the permanency of fixed, or the high-tech accuracy of Vivera.

Remember that regular wear and good maintenance are necessary no matter what kind of retainer you select. Regular check-ups with your orthodontist will also help you keep an eye on the state of your retainer and discuss any necessary changes to keep that flawless smile. To choose the retainer after braces that best fits your preferences and lifestyle, embrace the alternatives available as you begin the retention part of your orthodontic journey.

How do teeth retainers work?

A teeth retainer works by maintaining the position of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. Whether you’ve had braces or clear aligners, the objective is to align your teeth properly. After the active phase of orthodontic treatment, the retainer helps keep your teeth in their corrected positions. Let’s see how a dental retainer typically works:

Controlling the Movement of Teeth

Your teeth progressively realign themselves throughout orthodontic therapy. Pressure is applied to them to move the teeth into the appropriate places throughout this procedure. The teeth retainer secures the teeth in their new positions after this active phase.

Relapse Prevention

Due to the natural inclination of teeth to migrate, relapse—a situation in which the teeth move back toward their original positions—can occur if appropriate retention is not maintained. By exerting a constant push against the teeth’s natural propensity to shift, the retainer helps stop this relapse.

Bone Restructuring

 The bones that support your teeth change throughout orthodontic treatment. The bone needs time to adjust to the new tooth locations. Thus, this procedure is not quick. The retainer helps maintain the teeth’ stability throughout this continuing process of bone restructuring.

Duration of wearing retainers

 An orthodontic professional will usually provide you with a timetable for wearing dental retainers. They might need to be worn constantly, but gradually, the wear schedule might be adjusted to nights only over time. The orthodontist will monitor your progress and make recommendations based on how well your results continue to hold up.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What foods can be eaten while having retainers?

    In general, eating with dental retainers is not recommended, especially if they are removable. Eating with retainers may cause damage to retainers, oral hygiene issues, and discomfort.

  • How long should one wear retainers?

    The duration for wearing retainers can vary based on individual factors and your orthodontist’s recommendations. Initially, it can be full-time; later, an orthodontist may suggest wearing it only at night. Again, the time for retainer usage may depend on factors such as the type and severity of the initial orthodontic issues, individual anatomy, and how well you comply with wearing instructions.

  • Can you bite down with retainers?

    It’s not advisable to bite down hard with retainers, especially if they are made of materials like plastic or acrylic. Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in corrected positions and are not as sturdy as natural teeth or other dental appliances.

  • What happens if you don’t wear retainers?

    If you don’t wear retainers as prescribed by your orthodontist after completing orthodontic treatment, there is a risk that your teeth may shift back to their original positions. Some consequences include Teeth Shifting, Misalignment Reoccurrence, Bite Problems, Wasted Investment and Discomfort.

  • What are the different types of clear retainers available?

    Essix, Vivera are the most common clear retainers recommended by dentists after your orthodontic treatment.

  • Are clear retainers effective?

    Clear retainers are as effective as other types of dental retainers and help prevent shifting of teeth or relapse after an orthodontic treatment.

Our Dentists

dr joy antony founder and md of dr joy dental clinics
Dr. Joy Antony

Founder & MD

Dr. Rana Muwahid

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Laura Nougues Rosel
Dr. Laura Nogues Rosel

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Era Bansal - Specialist Orthdontist
Dr. Era Bansal

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Yacoub Aoun -Specialist Orthodontist
Dr. Yacoub Aoun

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Marisha Kaul - Specialist Orthodontistist
Dr. Marisha Kaul

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Basel Mofti Specialist Orthodontist
Dr. Basel Mofti

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Chris Lauren Saldanha
Dr. Chris Lauren Saldanha

Specialist Orthodontist

dr rajat dutta at dr joy dental clinic
Dr. Rajat Dutta

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Vivek Bhaskar Specialist Orthodontist
Dr. Vivek Bhaskar

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. C. Naveen Kumar
Dr. C. Naveen Kumar

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Ghaithaa Saleh Mkahal Specialist Orthodontist
Dr. Ghaithaa Saleh Mkahal

Specialist Orthodontist

Dr. Ahmed A.M. El Sayed

Specialist Prosthodontist, Cosmetic Dentist & Implantologist

Dr. Nazifa Yakubova - General & Cosmetic Dentist
Dr. Nazifa Yakubova

Specialist Prosthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Dalia Fleihan
Dr. Dalia Fleihan

General & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Ahmed Nasser Nassiri
Dr. Ahmed Nasser Nassiri

Specialist Prosthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Smitha Jacob

Specialist Prosthodontist

Specialist Prosthodontist Dr. Tejomaya Shastry
Dr. Tejomaya Shastry

Specialist Prosthodontist

dr-darach
Dr. Darach Judge

General & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Kamal Kiswani

General Dentist and Implantologist

Dr. Shriharsha Pilathadka

General Dentist

General and Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Samar H. H. AlKurd
Dr. Samar H. H. AlKurd

General & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Kristina Reshtovskaya
Dr. Kristina Reshtovskaya

General & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Harris Mavidis

General Dentist

Dr. Douglas Macmillan
Dr. Douglas Macmillan

General Dentist

Dr. Gagan Sabharwal - Specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Implantologist
Dr. Gagan Sabharwal

Specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Implantologist

Dr Salah
Dr. Salah Mahaini

Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon and Implantologist

Dr. Irshad Chaudhary
Dr. Irshad Chaudhary

Specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Implantologist

Dr. Pratik Narsikar

Specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Implantologist

Dr. Ajay Ajit Pala General Dentist and Implantologist
Dr. Ajay Ajit Pala

General Dentist and Implantologist

Svetlana Prisiazhnykh-dr
Dr. Svetlana Prisiazhnykh

Specialist Prosthodontist

Specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr. Kamila Akieva
Dr. Kamila Akieva

Specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Dr. Mandeep Singh Jolly

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Pascale Abou Rjeily

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Namrata Mathrawala

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr Afnan Nasser Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Afnan Nassar

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Specialist Pediatric Dentist Dr. Priya Verma
Dr. Priya Verma

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Rishika Habib - Specialist Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Rishika Habib

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Ratna Priya Mishra
Dr. Ratna Priya Mishra

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Moustafa Ewida

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Specialist Pediatric Dentist - Dr. Lama Dakkouri
Dr. Lama Dakkouri

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Sapna Hegde

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Faredha Haaris

Specialist Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Marjan Dorkhan

Specialist Endodontist

Dr. Narmatha Jayabal

Specialist Endodontist

Specialist Endodontist Dr. Reaba Rebecca Thomas
Dr. Reaba Rebecca Thomas

Specialist Endodontist

dr. radhika specialist endodontist
Dr. Radhika Kewalramani

Specialist Endodontist

Dr. Khaled AlQadi
Dr. Khaled AlQadi

Specialist Endodontist

Dr. Rima Abdallah

Consultant Periodontist and Implantologist

Dr. Chyrel S. Salian

Specialist Periodontist

Dr. Tomas Forti

General Dentist

Dr. Elham Yaghoobi

General Dentist

General Dentist Dr. Holly McDonald
Dr. Holly McDonald

General Dentist

Dr. Minusch Vossoughi - General and cosmetic dentist
Dr. Minusch Vossoughi

General Dentist

Dr. Rachelle Joy Casia - Filipino General Dentist
Dr. Rachelle Joy Casia

General Dentist

Dr. Asmaa Jalal

General Dentist

Dr. Alyaa Osama

General Dentist

Dr. Amer Mahmoud Al Kadri

General Dentist

Dr. Sarah Al-Saffar General Dentist
Dr. Sarah Al-Saffar

General Dentist

Dr. Andreina Pérez González

General Dentist

General Dentist Dr. Calum Tevendale
Dr. Calum Tevendale

General & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Nazima Yakubova

Specialist Prosthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Juliana Saba
Dr. Juliana Saba

General Dentist

Dr. Sandrhea A. Sacares General Dentist
Dr. Sandrhea A. Sacares

General Dentist

Faith Isayed

Dental Hygienist

Katy Burova

Dental Hygienist

Felicia Bjurfjäll

Dental Hygienist

Shahd Khudher dental hygienist
Shahd Khudher

Dental Hygienist

Emily Elizabeth Small

Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist - Renad Alkasasbeh
Renad Alkasasbeh

Dental Hygienist

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