Types of Retainers

Why Are Retainers Important?

Retainers are extremely important after going through orthodontic treatment to make sure that your teeth stay in the position once your teeth are properly aligned. There are different types of retainers depending on your needs.

Once your teeth have been moved into the correct positions, it might be necessary toTypes of Retainers wear a retainer in order to maintain their positions.  Your teeth are able to move throughout orthodontic treatment because your teeth aren’t simply anchored in your jaw bones. They are held in place by a network of fibers called periodontal ligaments. When your orthodontic treatment moves your teeth into new positions, it takes some time for those fibers to stabilize. Even after your periodontal ligaments are adjusted, your teeth can slowly move throughout your lifetime. That’s why your orthodontist might instruct you to sleep with your retainer.

Types of Retainers

There are 3 common types of retainers: permanent retainers, Hawley retainers, and clear retainers commonly known as Essix retainers.Read the information below to learn more about these types of retainers!

Permanent Retainer

Permanent retainers, also known as a bonded retainer or a fixed retainer, is a wire or small metal bar that holds your teeth in place and prevents them from moving after orthodontic treatment. Permanent retainers help prevent issues such as gapping or crowding.

A permanent retainer is something that can’t be lost, and there’s very little chance that it will be damaged. These retainers are discretely glued to the backs of your teeth so no one can tell you’re wearing a permanent retainer. But permanent retainers stay in your mouth all the time, including while you eat, brush, and floss. This means that you are responsible to maintain your oral hygiene to make sure that your teeth continue to stay strong and healthy!

If you neglect your oral hygiene, these retainers may contribute to plaque buildup and gum disease. This is due to food particles getting caught in your retainer wire. In order to properly clean your teeth, flossing is essential. However, fixed retainers make it a little tougher to floss. That’s why you must use a floss thread for proper cleaning of your teeth and gums.

Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainers are the most familiar retention option, made of acrylic that’s molded to the inside of your mouth, and metal wires go around your teeth to hold them in place. Unlike permanent retainers, they can be removed, and it’s up to you to wear them as per the instructions of your orthodontist.

Hawley retainers are long lasting if they’re properly cared for, and since they’re pretty durable, care isn’t difficult. Hawley retainers are the types of retainers that are available in a variety of colors, including glittery hues, so those people who like personalization can be as stylish as desired. Acrilyc doesn’t stain or scratch easily and is very durable, so you won’t have to replace your retainer as long as you take care of it.

Furthermore, these types of retainers can be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste or a denture cleaner. You can remove them before eating to maintain your oral hygiene but these Hawley retainers are visible in your mouth because the metal wire sits in front of your teeth. One thing that many people point out is that you may produce more saliva while wearing a Hawley retainer.

If your Hawley retainer is not cleaned properly, bacteria can grow inside your mouth. So it is very important to make sure that you regularly clean your retainer to maintain good oral hygiene!

Essix Retainers

Clear retainers are types of retainers, also known as Essix retainers. They are thin clear plastic plates similar to a small mouth guard. These types of retainers are worn while you sleep for about 12 hours a day.

The purpose of Essix retainers, like all retainers, is to keep your teeth in their correct positions. The thin plastic of Essix retainers is virtually invisible. So nobody will know you’re wearing an Essix retainer.

Using chemical cleaning tablets on Essix retainers can corrode the material. In fact, in a study on Essix retainers, scientists found out that using chemical cleaning tablets didn’t reduce the number of bacteria any more than simple brushing did.

So even though it might be a little more difficult to care for, as long as you brush your retainer and the case and regularly use non-alcoholic mouthwash, you will be able to maintain your Essix retainer. If you keep this up, your retainer will last you 5-10 years!

Cost of Various Types of Retainers

The cost of retainers varies by different types of retainers available.

  • Bonded or permanent retainers cost about $250 to $500 for one row of teeth and $500 to $1,000 for both rows of teeth.
  • Hawley retainers can cost between $150 to $300 for one or $300–$600 to fix both sets of teeth.
  • Clear retainers are similarly priced to bonded retainers. Typically, Essix retainers cost between $100 to $250 for one and $200 to $500 for two
    • Vivera Retainers – A type of clear retainer made from the same technology as Invisalign that costs about $300 to $500.

Choose The Type Of Retainer Suits You!

No matter what type of retainers you choose, be sure to wear them exactly as your orthodontist recommends. Your teeth will maintain their position giving you that dream smile for a lifetime. Wearing your retainer will make sure that all of that hard work you put in achieve the perfect smile doesn’t go to waste!

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