Why I need retainers ?
After investing in the process of straightening with braces or aligners nobody wants their teeth falling back into the wrong position. Retainers are needed to prevent the teeth from relapse and going to their initial position. Retainers are individually made (custom made from a mold of your mouth) and depends on your need and choice, could be different. They secure and hold the teeth in their final position after alignment. After completion of orthodontic treatment and removal of braces or using last aligners, clients are required to wear their removable retainer(s) every night at first, with many also being directed to wear them during he day (at least initially) .
What form of retainer should I go for?
You need an assessment by the dentist who will prescribe for you the most suitable type. Of course your choice should be respected since individuals may decide for other treatments based on preference and lifestyle, however the dentist will advise you if any form of retainer clinically or technically is not suitable for you. Please ask as we are happy to help you.
Most prescribed retainers by dentist and chosen by clients are:
What is a Fixed retainer?
A fixed retainer is a passive wire bonded to the back of your front teeth (tongue-side). It is always from canine to canine in lower jaw and may involve 6,4 or even 2 teeth in upper jaw depending on your bite. Unlike the removable retainer types, fixed retainers obviously cannot be removed and it means it is doing its job 24 hours a day. We recommend this especially where reversal risk is high or orthodontic treatment involved big changes in the positioning of the teeth and bite. Some dental schools recommend the device is required until a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted however in our opinion it is better to be kept in place as long as possible, and subject to good oral hygiene provided by regular flossing (with super floss or TePe brushes) and regular advanced hygienist sessions (using Airflow to access under the wire without damaging it). Otherwise fixed retainers may lead to tartar build-up or gingivitis.
We always advise to have a removable Essix retainer made on top of fixed one to secure the entire arch in place secured.
What is Removable Retainer (Essix or Vivera)?
Essix and Vivera Retainers are transparent and fit over the entire or part of arch of teeth (clip-on or snap-on retainer) and are manufactured in laboratories from a mold taken from your teeth . It is similar in appearance to an Invisalign aligner however they are not active but passive devices. ( They do not move teeth but hold them). They are virtually invisible and clear when worn. Similier to aligners these retainers are supposed to be removed to avoid breaking of them by eating. In contrast to fixed retainers which hold front teeth 24h /day they do work only when you wear them. They are less expensive, less visible, and easier to wear than Hawley retainers ( which includes wires and will be preferred in certain cases like clients with disorders such as grinding.
Our retainers are supplied with a retainer case for protection. During the first few days of usage many people experience extra saliva in their mouth which is natural and is due to the presence of a new object inside the mouth and consequent stimulation of the salivary glands. There may be some difficulty to speak for a while however it should go away after a short period of adaptation. Extremely good oral hygiene with flossing and regular hygienist appointments is needed when any appliance is used.
Vivera is branded invisalign removable retainer and comes in pack of three to give peace of mind in case any of those is lost or broken.