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An Informative Guide to Different Types of Retainers

Retainers are a necessary dental appliance if you’ve worn braces to fix your crowded or misaligned teeth. They keep your teeth from reverting to their old state. If you don’t want to wear braces again, then get retainers from your dentist as early as possible. But, before you visit a dental clinic, you should learn about its different types to make your selection easy. To learn more in detail, keep reading this blog-post by Dentistry on Dusk.

types of dental retainers

  1. Permanent

Permanent retainers, also known as fixed or bonded retainers, consist of a solid or braided wire that is curved to fit straightened teeth. The wire is bonded to the inside of the front teeth to keep them in place. These retainers are often used on lower teeth. The permanent retainers are fixed and not removed unless there is an excess build-up of tartar and plaque.

Advantages

  • There are fewer chances of misplacing it as it is fixed.
  • It is durable and not prone to damage easily.
  • It doesn’t create a problem with speech.

Disadvantages

  • It is difficult to clean which is why plaque and tartar may build-up which can lead to gum diseases.
  • The metal wire may cause tongue irritation.
  1. Removable

This type of retainer is a clear horse-shoe shaped dental appliance meant to fit over the teeth. As it is clear, your appearance is not affected and for this reason it is one of the most popular retainers. You can remove these it whenever needed like during brushing or flossing.

Advantages

  • Removable retainers are easy to remove.
  • It doesn’t hamper your appearance.

Disadvantages

  • It requires proper handling as it is fragile.
  • It can create excess saliva in your mouth

Removable retainers are broadly divided into two types and they are:

  • Hawley

Hawley retainers, also known as wire retainers are made of thin metal wire and plastic. They are shaped to fit on the lower teeth. The attached metal wire runs across the outside of your teeth to maintain alignment.

Advantages

  • It can be easily fixed if there is any damage.
  • It is durable and can last for years if it is handled properly.

Disadvantages

  • It can affect your speech unlike other types of retainers.
  • It is visible which can hamper your appearance.
  • The wires may irritate your cheeks or lips.
  • Clear Plastic

Clear plastic retainers are vacuum-formed retainers designed to fit the new position of your teeth. This type of retainer is made after the creation of molds for teeth. Very thin plastic is heated and fixed around the molds afterwards.

Advantages

  • It is less bulky than Hawley retainers.
  • It may not affect your speech.
  • As it is invisible, it won’t affect your appearance.

Disadvantages

  • It cannot be adjusted or repaired.
  • It can bend if exposed to heat.
  • It can trap liquids against your teeth which may lead to cavities
  1. Traditional

Traditional retainers consist of metal brackets that are attached to the tooth by cement. They are bonded with thin metal wires which helps to straighten the teeth. This wire, also known as archwire is connected to the brackets with tiny elastic o-rings. The latter is used to tighten the retainers. But some traditional retainers do not need them, they are known as self-ligating retainers.

Advantage

  • They are hardy and can last for years.

Disadvantage

  • The metal wires can cause irritation to the tongue.
  1. Damon

These retainers are flexible, convenient and self-ligating which means they can adjust on their own without the intervention of an orthodontist. If you don’t have time to visit the dentist or you’re looking for a cost-effective solution, then Damon retainers are the right choice for you.

Advantage

  • No need to visit your dentist to fix these retainers.

Disadvantage

  • It is expensive.
  1. Ceramic

Ceramic retainers are similar to traditional retainers but they are made of transparent ceramic, unlike conventional metal. Their invisibility makes them a preferred teeth-straightening appliance.

Advantage

  • They are not bulky like traditional retainers.

Disadvantage

  • They are prone to damage.

These are the different types of retainers to choose from based on what you need. Consult your dentist at the soonest to ensure you get straight teeth. After all, everyone deserves properly aligned teeth and a beautiful smile.