385 N. Grant St. Canby, Oregon 97013

385 N. Grant St. Canby, Oregon 97013

After Braces: The Types of Retainers and Why You Need Them

It’s time! After months of treatment, you are finally ready to have your braces or clear aligners removed for good. You finally get to enjoy that perfect smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s all over — right? Well…not completely…once you have that beautiful smile, you have to maintain it. How do you do that? We provide retainers that will keep your teeth in place and keep that perfect smile for years to come! 

Our patients often have questions about retainers after braces or Invisalign. How long will I have to wear them? Will they have food restrictions, too? Why do I need retainers? How much does it cost to get retainers, and how much does it cost to replace retainers? Ohana Orthodontics in Canby, Oregon has the answers to these and all of your other questions related to retainers.

Types of Retainers to Wear After Braces

Most people know about the original type of retainers, the one that has a few wires sticking out of a piece of acrylic; those are always the type of retainers shown in movies and tv shows. But actually, there are three main types of retainers now: Hawley retainers, Essix or clear retainers, and permanent or fixed retainers. There are pros and cons to each, and sometimes the best option for you is to combine two different kinds so let’s look at all three. 

Hawley Retainers

Hawley Retainers are the style of retainers that combine an acrylic piece with wires that fit over the teeth. The acrylic center is customized to fit the roof of your mouth and around your lower teeth and tongue. Wires fit around the back molars to hold the retainers in place.  The metal wires can be adjusted to make minor movements of the front teeth and the acrylic can be customized with fun colors and designs. This type of retainer has been around for years and has protected thousands upon thousands of smiles. These retainers are popular because they’re easy to clean since they are removable. The downside is they can be lost or damaged since they are removable. It’s also possible to forget to put them back in after taking them out for eating or brushing and flossing. A patient’s teeth can move if the retainers aren’t worn for the prescribed time.

Clear Retainers

Another type of retainer is the clear retainer, often called the Essix retainer. These are especially popular with patients who had treatment with clear aligners such as Invisalign, but they can be worn regardless of the type of treatment. Sometimes, these retainers are used in combination with fixed retainers. The clear retainers are custom-designed to fit your new smile exactly and hold the teeth in place. Because they are clear, they’re nearly invisible and tend to be more aesthetically pleasing. Clear retainers can be removed for eating, drinking, flossing, and brushing. As with Hawley retainers, you can lose these retainers more easily or forget to put them in after meals. 

Permanent Retainers/Fixed Retainers

Permanent retainers, or lingual retainers, are retainers that are bonded to the teeth and cannot be removed except by your orthodontist. A wire is bonded to the back of the front teeth to hold them in place. They are not easily seen and will not alter speech but do require extra attention to remove tartar with flossing. The pros of permanent retainers are that they aren’t removable, so they can’t be lost, and it’s difficult to damage them since they stay in your mouth. You also don’t have to worry about how long you wear them each day because they are in all the time. The con is that these retainers make it more difficult to floss, and you can experience more tartar buildup on your teeth. That’s why it’s vital to visit your dentist regularly, particularly with these retainers. 

Ohana Orthodontics offers all three of these options to our patients. We can recommend which is right for you, depending on which one best fits your lifestyle. 

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How Much Do My Retainers Cost?

A set of retainers is included with the cost of your treatment, so you don’t have to worry about that! However, if your retainers are lost or damaged, you will be expected to pay the cost to repair or replace them. 

Depending on the type, replacement retainers can cost anywhere from $150-$600 on average to replace. That’s why it’s so important to be sure you keep up with your retainers and maintain them well!

Taking Care of Your Retainers

There is more to having retainers than just wearing them. It’s important to maintain them as well because you will be using them for a long time. It isn’t unusual to need minor adjustments to your retainers now and again. Once an Ohana Orthodontics patient, always an Ohana Orthodontics patient. You are always welcome and encouraged, to give us a call to schedule a retainer check-up or adjustment. We will make sure the retainers are keeping your teeth right where they need to be.

If you forgot to wear your retainers for several months or years, call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Rachel Yamakawa and we will check and make sure that your original retainers can still be used or whether we need to get you a new retainer. We promise that we understand if you fell out of the habit of wearing your retainers and our team will never shame you for it. 

It’s also important to keep your retainers cleaned regularly and to report any damage right away. If you do lose or damage your retainers, call us immediately. We’ll take care of the problem. Ohana Orthodontics is here to help!

Retainers Let You Keep That Perfect Smile!

After several months of hard work, you deserve to have a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. Retainers will help do that for you! While you will need to wear them almost 24/7 for the first few months after finishing your braces or Invisalign treatment, you can usually reduce that to overnight only afterward. Dr. Rachel Yamakawa will make sure you know the plan for wearing your retainers after braces or Invisalign. You will need to wear your retainers for your lifetime, but just think of the gorgeous smile you’ll have for the rest of your life – a true forever smile!

Dr. Rachel Yamakawa at Ohana Orthodontics in Canby, Oregon is dedicated to seeing you succeed in not only getting but keeping that gorgeous smile. That’s why we give you so many options when it comes to your retainers. If you have questions about retainers or treatment, you can schedule an appointment at our Canby, Oregon office and we will be happy to answer them and get you started on the road to your perfect smile!

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