Retainers Are For Life

You have finished your orthodontic treatment and have a beautiful smile. Now you are being given retainers and told you will need to wear them.  These retainers are the final and one of the most important steps in your orthodontic journey. Your teeth have memory and will shift back to their original state without proper care.  In order to prevent your teeth from shifting back you should wear your retainers every night preferably for the rest of your life. Nearly 25% of orthodontic patients have to wear braces again because they didn’t wear their retainers as directed!

There Are Three Types Of Retainers That Can Be Given When Treatment Is Finished:

Hawley Retainer

Hawley retainers may be the most widely recognized type of retainer, but are no longer the most commonly used. Sometimes referred to as wire retainers, this style has been around for decades and continues to be a reliable option for orthodontists. They are made from a molded acrylic arch and wire, custom-fitted to the wearer’s mouth. They work by slowly maneuvering teeth into place or holding them in place, and they can be adjusted as needed by an orthodontist. Hawley retainers are removable. These retainers tend to cost more than the clear retainers ranging from $200-$500.

Clear (Essix) Retainer

These types of retainers have become increasingly popular in recent years, as the technology has dramatically improved. These also are the type of retainer that we generally give to all of our patients. They are made from clear plastic and are custom-fitted for the patient’s mouth. Because they are clear, they are hard to notice without looking for them. These also tend to be more comfortable for the patient to wear and there is minimal speech interruption. They are easy to take care of and can be removed as needed. Similar to Invisalign trays the clear retainers can move teeth into proper position if teeth have moved. These are the most cost-effective option ranging from $150-$400

Fixed/Bonded Permanent Retainer

Permanent retainers go by several names, such as bonded wire retainers, fixed retainers or lingual retainer wire. These types of retainers are considered permanent, because while an orthodontist can remove them, patients cannot. Permanent retainers are bonded to the back of the patient’s teeth. They can be placed on the lower six front teeth and/or the upper four front teeth, depending on what is needed. This type of retainer holds the teeth firmly in place to prevent them from moving back into their previous positions. These are the hardest to keep clean as plaque can build up around the wire if they are not properly brushed and flossed. If the retainer breaks or a new one is needed these are the most expensive option ranging from $400-$1000.

What do Dr. Ward and Dr. Campbell Recommend?  The Golden Combination! 

Fixed retainer + Clear retainer every night= The Golden Combination

This is the best way to keep your teeth in fantastic shape after treatment.

How To Care For Your Retainer

  • Take your retainer out when you eat or drink anything
  • Clean your retainer with a toothbrush and a pea sized amount of hand soap.
  • Cleaners intended for dentures will aid in keeping your retainers clean.
  • Do not expose your plastic retainer to heat (including hot water)- they will warp. Use cool water when cleaning your retainer.
  • Never place your retainer in your pocket without the retainer in its case-It will get broken.
  • Never leave your retainer out of its case where children and pets can find it. Pets love to chew on retainers so keeping them out of their reach is also important.
  • Always store your retainer in its proper case when it is not in your mouth. This will help prevent your retainer from being broken.

You’ve worked hard for that beautiful smile so wear your retainers so you can keep that beautiful smile and healthy mouth for the rest of your life. If you are interested in finding out more or getting a consultation for treatment, give our office a call today (208) 734-4314!

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Ward + Campbell Orthodontics
1502 Locust St N, Ste 200
Twin Falls, ID 83301

(208) 734-4314