Orthodontic Retainer

Orthodontic Retainer.

Finally, after so much waiting, your braces have come off! Time has passed and your smile is ready to be showcased. What you want most is to shout to the world that your teeth are perfect.

But, despite this, there is still one more step to go, and that is orthodontic retainers.

Orthodontic retainers are nothing more than a treatment in which you are going to be provided with retainers, to prevents your teeth from moving back to their initial position. The purpose of orthodontic retainers is to prevent all the work achieved by orthodontics from being lost. This next stage of your orthodontics is often tricky because everything you have achieved can easily disappear, so it is called a follow-up etpa.

Depending on what your dentist deems necessary, he or she will recommend using removable or permanent retainers.

The treatment of orthodontic retainers is not as extensive as orthodontic treatment can be. It is usually used for five to seven months. This way, your teeth will be fixed in the ideal place in the oral cavity.

Orthodontic retainers should be used under the supervision of your specialist dentist, and you should try to follow the letter the instructions he or she gave you.

What are orthodontic retainers?

Orthodontic retainers consist of appliances that are worn on the teeth in order to keep the teeth in place.

There are orthodontic retainers for both the upper and lower arches.

In case you do not use orthodontic retainers after the previous treatment, all the work that has been achieved may disappear, so this stage is very important to keep and position the teeth in place.

If you do not wear orthodontic retainers properly, you will lose the orthodontic gains and may require braces again, which will include extra expense and a lot of frustration on your part.

For this reason, it is very important that the so-called retention phase be respected.

Phases of orthodontic treatment.

  • Diagnostic phase:

In this first phase, the dentist is going to proceed to check the oral cavity and prepare it, in order to, in this way, proceed to take you the pertinent x-rays, as well as analyze your occlusion and everything concerning your oral health. According to what the dentist sees, he or she will work to achieve a personalized project for you, and thus take all the necessary measures for the realization, placement ad follow-up of your orthodontics. Therefore you should attend the dentist regularly, so that he or she is aware of the evolution of your teeth and that everything is going correctly, as expected.

  • Treatment phase:

In this second phase, you will already be fitted with orthodontic treatment, whether metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign, or others, in which the dentist, together with the braces, will play a fundamental role in the ideal placement of your teeth within the oral cavity. The dentist will closely monitor your progress and will be aware of every movement your teeth make. He or she is going to place the orthodontic treatment and will change monthly the rubber bands used to exert pressure on the teeth.

  • Retention phase:

In this phase, once the orthodontic treatment phase is finished, the specialist dentist, in this case, the orthodontist, will give you orthodontic retainers, which is a device that can be either fixed or removable, which is placed on the teeth of both the upper and lower arches and will help keep the teeth in the position acquired with the help of orthodontic treatment, thus preventing the teeth from returning to their initial position. This part of the treatment is fundamental because it is what will ensure that the work obtained thanks to the treatment phase lasts over time.

Types of orthodontic treatment.

  • Permanent retainers:

Permanent retainers are retainers that are glued to the back of the teeth, which are attached to the front teeth, in order to keep them from moving.

Permanent retainers consist of a stainless steel wire, which is attached to the teeth in such a way that only a dental specialist can remove them.

These retainers, also called lingual wire, will fulfill the function of preventing the teeth from moving and thus losing all the work achieved by the brackets or orthodontic appliances.

Permanent retainers offer the patient many advantages, such as that they are not removed unless the dentist deems it necessary, so you will not lose them. They are not noticeable to the naked eye, your routine life will not be harmed by permanent retainers, as they are easy to clean and maintain. And they perform the required function perfectly.

  • Hawley retainers:

Hawley retainers consist of a type of removable appliance, completely custom-made for the patient, which consists of a plate made of plastic that will be in contact with the palate, and from this plate will come out wires that will go through the back teeth.

Hawley appliances are long-lasting and adjustable. They are comfortable, once the patient gets used to them and they fulfill their function perfectly inside the oral cavity.

They are easy to clean and can be removed when ingesting food or performing routine oral cleaning.

However, Hawley retainers do not go unnoticed as permanent retainers, they are noticeable, sometimes the plastic that is in constant contact with the palate can be a little uncomfortable and it is extremely important that the patient cleans them very well.

  • Plastic retainers:

Plastic retainers consist of a completely transparent type of retainer, custom-made for each patient, which has the function of preventing the teeth from shifting back to their initial position after having finished with the treatment ase.

This type of retainer consists of one for the lower arch and one for the upper arch and will usually be worn only during the night.

  • Essix retainers:

Essix retainers consist of a type of plastic retainers, the function of which is to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original position.

Essix retainers are custom designed and can be used after any type of orthodontic treatment.

This type of retainer is one of the most popular, thanks to the material they are made of, which allows them to be very inconspicuous in the patient’s mouth.

Despite its great advantages, it tends to wear a little faster than other types of retainers and is a little more difficult to clean.

The average cost of orthodontic retainers.

Typically, the cost of orthodontic retainers is included within the initial orthodontic plan that your orthodontic specialist dentist has made.

It is important that you talk to your dentist, to find out if this average cost is included in your insurance plan.

Also, keep in mind that the average cost of orthodontic retainers is directly dependent on yourself, i.e. the amount of work that needs to be done, in order to achieve the expected results.

Importance of orthodontic retainers.

The importance of orthodontic retainers lies in the fact that thanks to them, the teeth will not move to their initial position.

Orthodontic retainers are completely custom-made and serve to “teach” the teeth to maintain their new position. It is very important that you follow the instructions given by the dentist to the letter, otherwise, all the work achieved with the help of orthodontic appliances can be quickly lost.

You should wear orthodontic retainers for as long as the dentist instructs you to. This is usually about 6 to 12 months.

Orthodontic retainers will give you a perfect, beautiful, balanced smile that will last over time. And it will make all the work and effort invested worthwhile.

In addition, it is always important to emphasize that it is necessary for you to visit the dentist periodically so that you can quickly see the expected progress.