Retainers are custom-made dental devices designed to maintain the alignment of teeth after orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners. Once the primary treatment is complete, retainers prevent the teeth from returning to their original positions. They can be removable or fixed, with removable retainers resembling clear aligners and fixed ones being bonded to the back of the teeth. Retainers are crucial for preserving the results of orthodontic work, ensuring the teeth remain straight and well-aligned over time. Regular wear of retainers helps maintain the results achieved during orthodontic treatment, providing a stable and straight smile for years to come.
Hawley retainers are one of the most recognizable types. They consist of a combination of plastic and metal wires. The plastic portion fits snugly against the roof of the mouth, while the wire component holds the teeth in their corrected positions. Hawley retainers are removable, making them easy to clean and allowing for regular adjustments by orthodontists to fine-tune tooth alignment. They are durable and can last for years with proper care.
Fixed or bonded retainers are permanent retainers affixed to the back of the teeth using dental cement by our dentist in Johnson City, TN. These retainers are not visible when you smile and are incredibly effective at maintaining alignment. They are typically recommended for the lower front teeth, where relapse is more common. While they require minimal maintenance, they can make oral hygiene more challenging, and regular dental check-ups are essential to ensure their integrity.
Clear retainers, often called Essix or Vivera retainers, are made from transparent plastic material molded to the shape of the patient's teeth. These retainers are removable and discreet, nearly invisible when worn. Clear retainers offer a snug fit, making them comfortable for patients. However, they are less durable than Hawley retainers and may need replacement if not handled carefully.
One of the primary benefits of retainers in Johnson City, TN, is their ability to preserve the results achieved through orthodontic treatment, whether braces or clear aligners. After teeth have been shifted into proper positions, retainers prevent them from reverting to their original misalignment, ensuring a lasting, straight smile.
Without the use of retainers, it's common for teeth to shift back to their original positions, especially in the first few months after orthodontic treatment. Retainers act as a safeguard, preventing this relapse and protecting your investment in orthodontic care.
Retainers help stabilize the bite and alignment of the teeth and jaws. This is especially crucial in cases with significant orthodontic corrections or patients with bite issues. By maintaining stability, retainers promote effective oral function.
Retainers ensure that the investment in a beautiful smile endures, allowing individuals to enjoy the long-lasting benefits of their orthodontic journey. To learn more about the benefits of retainers, visit our dentist at 189 Corporate Drive, Suite 30, Johnson City, TN 37604, or call (423) 929-1126.