Retainers are designed to keep newly straightened teeth in place after the finishing point of orthodontic treatment. They can come in a number of different forms, including removable palate retainers, which are comprised of a clear palate and thin wire, and fixed retainers, which are bonded to the rear of the teeth.

Your retainers will need to be worn for a specified period of time to reinforce the new tooth alignment after treatment with fixed braces or removable aligners. Patients benefit immensely from the use of retainers as they make certain the results of orthodontic treatment, improve self-image and boost confidence.

Our dentist will recommend the most appropriate type of retainer depending on the patients’ braces treatment and oral condition. There are four main types of retainers: Fixed, Hawley, Essix and Vivera. Each type of retainer has its own benefits.

Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers are comprised of metallic wire that is bonded on the rear of the six teeth at the front of the mouth with white filling cement. The wires are invisible to others when smiling, meaning that patients can retain their newly formed smiles without anyone knowing they are wearing retainers.

The retainers cannot be removed but this only means that patients need not feel concerned about remembering to replace their retainers. They act to enhance teeth structural stability while decreasing the hazard of relapse in teeth prone to rotation.

Fixed retainers are slightly limited in that they act on the front teeth only and are not as easily cleaned as other alternatives. If the white fillings bonding the retainers to the upper front teeth are in contact with the lower front teeth the bite may also be altered, but your dentist will monitor such changes.

Hawley retainers

Hawley hretainers are custom-made to enhance dental and cosmetic appearance. They are designed using dental plastic and steel wire, which can be removed for eating, cleaning and socialising. Made to retain teeth in their newly aligned position after fixed brace treatment, Hawley retainers effectively reinforce orthodontic treatment.

Patients are advised to wear the device for much of the day over a three month period, after which using the retainer overnight should be efficient in retaining teeth.

Younger wearers may need to wear the retainers longer than adults. Others still, depending on the severity of their malocclusion, may need a longer follow-up retainer treatment time. Not partaking in retainer follow-up care can result in teeth misalignment relapse.

Hawley retainers are easily removed to be cleaned with soap and a toothbrush. Using toothpaste on the dental plastic is not recommended as some ingredients may be too harsh on the dental plastic. Proprietary cleaning agents can prove to be a better option.

Essix retainers

Essix retainers are designed for the individual and comprised of clear thermoplastic, which offers patients discreet care and excellent oral health on account of their removability. As a follow-up treatment to fixed braces, Essix retainers prevent tooth relapse of recently straightened teeth, protecting the newly aligned position of teeth.

The retainers are invisible in appearance and ensure a natural-looking smile, since they are wireless and not obvious when worn. Essix retainers will suit the needs of self-conscious patients in need of invisible retention.

Unlike other retainer options they work to reinforce the alignment of all the teeth, not just the teeth at the front upper and lower jaw. Essix retainers are designed to be worn day and night and treatment will be monitored by the dental clinician. Day wear consists of about 20 hours for 4 months, after which night time wear proceeds for 12 hours per night over 12 months.

Vivera retainers

Vivera retainers are an invention of Invisalign and act as a follow-up treatment to the much loved invisible braces. Known for their comfortable, accurate and accommodating fit, Vivera retainers are streamlined with Invisalign technology to produce the best results in teeth straightening retention. The retainers are comfortable to wear and offer pain-free treatment.

When Invisalign treatment comes to its end and a new smile is achieved, three sets of lower and upper Vivera retainers are created and given to the patient. Our clinicians will be happy to assist patients in monitoring their retainers for quality results.

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