Did you know that it takes at least about a year before your teeth and gums adjust to their brand new positions just after having your braces removed? This is the reason why, after braces, orthodontists put you on retainers.
To keep the perfect results that your braces have achieved, it’s important to use retainers as recommended by your orthodontist. This prevents your teeth from going back to their crooked positions.
But there is more than one type of retainer, and your orthodontist might switch you from one to another. Here is a short guide on the different kinds of retainers and how they work.
Hawley retainers are made from acrylic and wires. The acrylic molds perfectly in the roof of your mouth while the wires extend out in front of your teeth to keep them in place. They can come in a variety of colors, which can be a little fun if you get bored with the usual style. It’s also more economical because they can be adjusted by your orthodontist to fit your needs and comfort. The drawback is that this is almost as visible as regular braces and can even make you lisp while you’re wearing them. The lisp wears off after a while.
Most orthodontists do not recommend Essix retainers because they don’t let your teeth open, close, and touch naturally. Most people, on the other hand, prefer Essix retainers because they are made from clear and durable plastic which is barely noticeable. They look almost the same way that Invisalign braces look, making for a more subtle aesthetic. Another drawback is that they are not as easily cleaned as Hawley retainers, which means they must be replaced quite often.
These are usually the first steps after removing braces. They are not removable, but they can hold newly adjusted teeth well. They are usually bonded from the back of your teeth which means that they are also out of sight, but the permanent bonding tends to bother and cause discomfort in people. After a few weeks, an orthodontist may remove these retainers and replace them with either an Essix or a Hawley alternative.
Always remember to keep your retainers clean to avoid any complications. Whenever you’re not using them, don’t forget to keep them in their case. In just a short time, you should be enjoying your perfect smile soon enough.