Which Retainer is Right for You?

tony weir orthodontist brisbane retainers

The position of your teeth doesn’t remain constant your entire life. If you have worn braces to align your teeth, you will have to use retainers to ensure that your teeth don’t move back to their original position.

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that is custom-designed to fit in your mouth and hold your teeth in place. Retainers need to be worn for at least a minimum of 2 years after braces have been removed. The type of retainer you’ll have to use will depend on the treatment plan for your individual case. There are 3 types of retainers available and it’s important to find out the pros and cons that come with each type.

Types of Retainers

Hawley Retainer

A Hawley retainer consists of an acrylic body attached to wires and clasps. The acrylic body is custom designed to match the shape of the roof of your mouth or the area between the tongue and the gums in the lower jaw. The bow shaped wires keep your teeth straight by not allowing them to shift out of their desired location and the clasps grip the teeth so that the retainer doesn’t fall out of the mouth. The acrylic used in Hawley retainers comes in many shades so it’s easy to find one that matches the natural colour of your mouth. Moreover, the material is durable and the wires can be adjusted when required. The biggest advantage is that they’re removable, so you can brush, floss and rinse regularly, reducing your chance of suffering from decay.

Hawley retainers are not the most discreet retainers. The wires are easily visible along with the acrylic body when patients open their mouth to laugh or yawn. The retainers can also break easily if they’re not properly looked after. Patients, who are used to wearing traditional braces won’t find it very difficult to get used to these retainers.

Transparent Retainers

Transparent retainers are the most aesthetically appealing orthodontic appliances. They’re made of clear plastic so they look very natural inside your mouth. They look quite similar to Invisalign aligners. Transparent retainers don’t interfere with your speech and can be easily removed when you need to brush your teeth. They’re not ideal for patients who grind their teeth because they can crack or break easily and they’re not as tough as Hawley retainers. They do, however, protect the surface of the teeth from damage caused by grinding of the teeth.

Fixed Bonded Retainers

Fixed retainers are bonded to the teeth in the lower jaw. They’re fitted behind the lower front teeth on the tongue side. Since they’re secured in place, they can only be removed by the dentist. These retainers are ideal for patients whose teeth are at greater risk of moving back to their original position. Fixed, bonded retainers trap food particles which can lead to tartar build-up. Moreover, if you bite on something hard like a bone, the retainer may break and require prompt attention.

Since each retainer has its own advantages and disadvantages you will have to work with your orthodontist to determine which one is best for your situation.

Tony Weir Orthodontics offers the most effective treatment of misaligned teeth. We were awarded Platinum-level certification from Invisalign because of our experience in fitting braces. If you’re looking for orthodontic treatment in Brisbane or South East Queensland, drop by our clinic and find out what we can do for you.

Call us on 07 3278 1492 to book an appointment or visit us online .


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