Displaying items by tag: Retainers

We’ve previously discussed how bonded retainers work and how traditional wire retainers work following Houston braces treatment. Retainers are a must after dental braces treatment because they keep your teeth in their new alignment while the teeth settle into the soft tissues. This process helps ensure the teeth remain straight and properly aligned for longer. If a patient doesn’t wear their retainers as our South Houston family dentist instructed them to, then it is much more likely that their teeth will separate again and go back to their previous alignment. Here is what translucent retainers are like.

What Are Clear Retainers

Clear retainers are very similar to Invisalign clear aligners, except the retainers don’t shift the teeth. These retainers are created by taking a mold of your new, perfect smile so that when you wear the retainers, they help retain the position of your teeth. These retainers are removable as well.

Clear plastic retainers are more common than bonded retainers, but they aren’t as common as traditional Hawley (wire) retainers. However they are still a great option for our patients if we determine that their teeth may benefit from this type.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Clear Retainers

Taking care of your teeth after you’ve completed your metal dental braces treatment, ceramic dental braces treatment, or Houston Invisalign treatment is key to wearing a healthier smile for longer. 

Pros of Clear Retainers:

  • Clear plastic retainers are nearly invisible, so patients won’t feel as awkward or self-conscious and may be more inclined to wear their retainers as directed
  • These retainers are often more comfortable than Hawley retainers
  • Because the plastic is so lightweight, your speech won’t be as affected as it can be with traditional wire retainers

Cons of Clear Retainers:

  • They cannot be readjusted or repaired; they can only be replaced
  • If exposed to excessive heat, clear retainers can warp in shape, therefore making it impossible to fit your teeth again
  • Over time, clear aligners can become discolored
  • If you don’t adhere to our recommendations for proper hygiene, then they can easily trap liquid or foods and result in cavities

Our South Houston Dentist Can Determine If Clear Retainers Are Suitable For Your Particular Case

If you or your child are finishing up with Houston braces treatment, then it’s time to discuss orthodontic retainers and which will work best for you. Please book an appointment with our South Houston Family Dentist so we can assess the progress on your teeth and determine what will best retain your new smile.

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As you approach the end of your Houston braces treatment, whether you’ve been wearing metal Houston braces, ceramic dental braces, or Invisalign, we’ll have a conversation about how to maintain your new smile with a retainer. There are different types of orthodontic retainers and we’ve previously talked about traditional removable retainers known as Hawley retainers. This time, we’ll discuss the less common bonded retainers.

What Are Bonded Retainers

Bonded retainers are permanent retainers made of wire that is shaped to fit the new alignment of your teeth. Similar to metal or ceramic Houston braces, they are cemented to your teeth with a dental-grade glue, except instead of being on the front of your teeth, these retainers are glued behind your teeth. Many family dentists or orthodontists around the country tend to bond them behind your lower teeth only, and they can only be removed by a dentist or orthodontist. 

Although rare, our South Houston dentist will only recommend a bonded retainer following Houston braces treatment if the patient won’t follow our guidelines on how to properly wear a removable retainer.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Permanent Bonded Retainers After Houston Braces Treatment

Much like how ceramic braces, metal dental braces, and Houston Invisalign Clear Aligners each has positives and negatives, retainers do as well.

Pros of Bonded Retainers

  • Bonded retainers are a worry-free method for keeping your teeth straight because you don’t have to abide by a certain schedule, which means you don’t run the risk of making your teeth crooked or separate again.
  • No one can tell you’re wearing a permanent retainer, so there is no need to feel self-conscious about it
  • Wearing a permanent retainer doesn’t affect your speech, which is common with other types of retainers.

Cons of Wearing Permanent Retainers

  • Flossing is harder when wearing a bonded retainer because it gets in the way of the string. This causes plaque build-up and possibly gum disease
  • The metal might irritate your tongue or gums

Our South Houston Family Dentist Will Determine if a Bonded Retainer is Right For You

As you or your child near the end of Houston braces treatment, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so we can take your needs into account, decide if a permanent retainer is a good idea for your particular case, and have your retainers made. We look forward to giving you a smile you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

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