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Life After Braces: Wire Vs Plastic Retainers

May 12, 2018

After years of orthodontic treatment, it’s a big relief to finally have your braces removed. But your treatment isn’t quite over yet—actually for many people, orthodontic treatment is a life-long commitment.

 

Braces are used to move teeth over a period of time. The moment the braces are off, your teeth take advantage of the soft tissue and attempt to return to their original positions. Before you know it, all those years of orthodontic treatment are completely wasted.

To prevent teeth from shifting back to their original places, patients are required to wear retainers. Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in place post-orthodontic treatment. By wearing a retainer, you’re making sure that your teeth do not move.

 

There are two main types of retainers, wire and plastic.

 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

 

Wire retainers

Patients can choose from removable wire retainers and permanent wire retainers.

 

Removable wire retainers

Removable wire retainers commonly known as the Hawley retainer consist of acrylic and metal parts. The acrylic parts cover the roof of the mouth and rest on top of your tongue while the metal parts clasp on to the anchor teeth.

 

An orthodontist will ask you to wear this type of retainer continuously after your braces have been removed. As time goes on, you can get away with wearing them just during sleep and then a couple of times during the week.

 

Fixed retainer

Fixed retainers are perfect for more self-conscious people. These consist of a light-weight wire being placed on the backside of your from teeth. Because they are on the backside of your teeth, they are not visible; no one will be able to tell you’re wearing anything at all.

 

The only downside to this type of retainer is that they are difficult to keep clean. You will need to visit the dentist for regular cleaning a couple of times a year.

 

Plastic retainers

Plastic retainers provide the benefits of both removable and fixed retainers. Like the fixed retailers, they too are not visible; from far, no one will be able to tell you’re wearing something in your mouth.

 

They can also be removed whenever needed so you can enjoy all types of food without worrying about breaking the retainer. It’s also much simpler to maintain since you can remove and clean them easily.

 

A good orthodontist should be able to recommend what kind of retainer is best for your situation. The more teeth shifted during orthodontic treatment, the sturdier the retainer should be.

 

At Waterfront Family Dentistry in Frisco, we provide all kinds of dental services including orthodontic dentistry, cosmetic dentistry services, wisdom tooth removal, root canals, oral surgery extraction and much more.

 

We provide superior dental services to the residents of Frisco, Lil Elm and The Colony, Texas. Contact us at 972-987-4343 to book an appointment.

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