Retainers Healdsburg, CA
Maintain the success of your orthodontic treatment.
If you’ve had orthodontic treatment then you know how much work went into creating that straight, perfect smile. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste! Wearing retainers are vital to keeping alignment because otherwise (no matter how many years of braces you’ve had in the past) your teeth will shift due to uneven pressures exerted in the mouth.
Now that you’re at the exciting conclusion of orthodontic treatment, we’re happy to discuss which retainer is best for you. But, most importantly, make sure that you wear it! Just think, you’ve already made the sacrifice of wearing braces or aligners to straighten your teeth, so why throw away all that treatment time by letting your teeth slowly shift? Make sure that your smile remains perfect with a retainer!
Types of Retainers
We offer several types of retainers depending on what characteristics fit your individual needs.
Studies show that without retainers straight teeth can gradually shift back towards their initial position. This is a common occurrence with all orthodontic treatment, but is one that can easily be overcome. Wearing Vivera retainers after traditional braces or Invisalign treatment means you are keeping your teeth in their new position and protecting your smile and investment.
Vivera retainers are customized just for you with the same state-of-the-art technology used to make Invisalign aligners. Because we custom-make the retainers from an impression or scan of your teeth, you will notice a precise and comfortable. Vivera’s proprietary material is 30% stronger, which helps maintain your teeth in the desired position. It also reduces the risk of the retainer cracking or breaking, which means a more durable retainer that you can count on.
An Essix retainer is a clear plastic mold that is worn over the entire set of teeth. Being completely clear, they offer the most discreet way to wear a retainer while also being removable for eating and cleaning. They are also thin enough (.02-.03 inches) that speaking can take place normally after a short adjustment period. The Essix retainer is not quite as durable as the Hawley and can be damaged by heavy teeth grinding (bruxism), so we’ll determine if the Essix retainer is right for you depending on the facts of your specific case.
Fixed retainers are an entirely different type. Most often used on lower incisors, the fixed retainer uses a small bar on the inside surface to hold teeth in position. And, just as the name implies, you cannot remove a fixed retainer, except with the help of a dental professional. In many cases, when there is significant likelihood of regression, these fixed retainers are kept in place for life. Patients with a fixed retainer may need to take extra care to prevent plaque buildup. Additionally, a floss threader may be necessary to maintain proper hygiene.
A Hawley retainer is the most traditional variety of retainer, and it consists of an acrylic molded mouthpiece combined with a metal wire to hold teeth in place. We usually recommend that patients wear the Hawley retainer continuously for the first 6 months after orthodontic treatment, then only at night thereafter. It can be removed for eating and cleaning, and is the most durable type of retainer.
One of the distinct advantages of the Hawley retainer is that we can manipulate the wires to make further fine adjustments to the teeth’s final position.
It’s important to wear your retainers often – every night at first. Even though your braces have been removed, your teeth are still gradually moving and shifting. Without a retainer to remind them where they are supposed to be situated, they may fall back to their misaligned position. A retainer is a gentler way of enforcing this alignment without being as obstructive as braces.
After your braces come off and retainer goes in, you’ll visit us for routine check-ups to determine which type of retainer is necessary to continue to facilitate proper teeth alignment. We may advise you to keep wearing your retainer, or we may allow you to wear them less often. It all depends upon our examination of your alignment. It’s very important to wear your retainers very often after you first receive them!
They are custom-made to fit your mouth and the formation of your teeth. You should feel very little to no discomfort. With the braces gone, a simple retainer is often warmly welcomed by our patients who didn’t like the feeling of metal wires in their mouth!
Unfortunately, patients who don’t wear retainers as often as we advise tend to have teeth shifting toward their original misalignment. In the worst case scenario, we regret to inform them that they would need orthodontic braces again to restore the straightness of their teeth.
After we remove your braces we will advise you what retainer would be ideal for your mouth, and we will provide you more specific information and maintenance tips for the proper care of your new retainer.