|At the end of orthodontic treatment, retainers must be worn otherwise you run the risk of undoing all of the hard work straightening your teeth. This is called relapse. We advise a combination approach of a fixed wire retainer placed behind the front teeth as well using a removable retainer at night.|
In most cases, we will place the fixed wire retainer immediately after the brace has been removed so that the risk of relapse is minimal. The great advantage of a fixed wire retainer is that it is bonded on to the teeth so that you do not have to worry about removing and wearing it. The wire itself is very low profile and hence non bulky. The glue is very smooth and overall, the retainer is extremely comfortable. Fixed retainers do require greater levels of maintenance and need careful cleaning on a daily basis. There is also the risk that the glue debonds or the wire fractures. If this happens, you must seek immediate advice. This is why we advise the use of a night time retainer as a safety net as well as a back up should anything happen to the fixed retainer.
There are many types of removable retainer. We normally recommend a vacuum formed retainer which is commonly known as an Essix retainer. These are made from clear plastic; either from polyethylene co-polymers or polypropylene polymers. They are latex and BPA free. Another common type of removable retainer is the Hawley Retainer. This is a robust retainer that has an acrylic base which sits behind the lower teeth or on the palate of the upper teeth and metal wire that runs across the front 6 teeth. It is held in by cribs which usually sit across the canine and molar teeth. Should you lose or break your retainer, it is essential that another is made as quickly as possible.
How long are retainers worn for?
Retention is for LIFE! If you are not willing to undergo a life time of retention, then you should not start orthodontic treatment. Immediately after orthodontic treatment, we advise the use of a fixed wire retainer as the definitive retainer coupled with the removable retainer at night for 12 months. The removable retainer can then be used 2 to 3 times per week.
Will retainers last a life time?
No. Due to natural wear and tear, retainers will need to be replaced over the years. This will depend on a number of factors such as your bite, cleaning habits, diet and whether you grind your teeth at night for example. Most retainers will need to be replaced every 2 to 3 years.
How to keep retainers clean
Fixed retainers should be brushed as normal using your manual or electric toothbrush. Inter dental brushes such as TePe or Piksters should also be used in between the teeth as regular floss will not pass through beyond the wire. Waterpik and Phillips Airfloss can also be useful to clean between the retainer. Removable retainers should be cleaned with an old tooth brush and toothpaste on a daily basis. Avoid using bleach or mouthwashes as this can lead to the retainer becoming cloudy and discoloured. The use of effervescent tablets such as Retainer Brite can also be useful with occasional use.
How much are orthodontic retainers?
The fee will vary depending on dentist or orthodontist. The fee at Progressive Dentistry for both fixed retainer and removable Essix retainer is £350. Individual fees for both retainers is £200. We take 3-D intra oral scans of your teeth to make the retainers hence should you lose the removable retainer, we can simply ask our laboratory to print another model and make a new retainer without you having to set foot within the practice! This is the beauty of digital dentistry.
Make an appointment
If you would like to make an appointment with us for orthodontic retainers or to discuss teeth straightening, please book online
Our case of the month for last month is a stunning case which involves a smile transformation using three techniques:
1. Lingual Braces
2. Tooth whitening using a take home whitening kit
3. Cosmetic bonding
We like to call this a Progressive Smile transformation as there is no drilling, no injections, no pain and the process is affordable and easy to maintain. In contrast to porcelain veneers or crowns which require drilling away of healthy tooth enamel to cover the teeth with the ceramic. Granted, this may look good to begin with but what about in 10 years? Biologically, removing the enamel means that the hardest tissue in the body can no longer protect the underlying tooth which could lead to bacterial leakage and infection. Why risk this?
Here we can see that the right canine tooth sticks outwards and there is crowding of the adjacent teeth. The teeth are heavily worn due to bruxism- grinding at night.
Nice! Lovely straight teeth, a few shades whiter and even edges. This is a true smile transformation the Progressive Dentistry way. We call this ABC; align, bleach and cosmetic bonding
If you would like a free video consultation with Dr Nissit Patel on ABC or any other aspect of dental care, we are offering this free of charge 7 days a week.
Why wait? After the year we have had, invest in yourself and smile with confidence!
Time has flown by and we forgot to post our case of the month for December so we have decided to combine them with a tremendous case study involving a complete smile transformation.
Our client really hated her smile. The main issues were that the smile was not wide enough, the back teeth caved in so that they were not visible on photos and the bite was all over the place. As well as teeth crowding and an overall yellow shade, so a number of aesthetic problems.
After careful planning, which is always the key to success, Dr Nissit Patel formulated a treatment plan which involved full upper and lower invisible braces which would develop the arches and improve the smile width. The bite, or we call it occlusion, was improved and treatment was completed with tooth whitening.
Overall, the treatment time frame was 12 months and we needed adjustment visits every 6 weeks in general. One of the key aspects in a comprehensive case like this, is the use of elastics. These are worn from the upper teeth to the lower teeth , ideally 20 hours of the day. The reason for this is to improve the way the teeth sit together. If you are not committed, the end results will not be as good!
Here is a before and after photograph. Truly stunning!
As you can see, here we have a smile transformation. The investment in time and money is incredibly well spent. Greater confidence, greater self belief, a healthy mouth, easier to maintain, better dental hygiene and lee likelihood of dental problems in the future.
If you are considering changing your smile this year, please contact us. It may change your life!