Displaying items by tag: Retainers

If you’re near the end of your Houston braces treatment, then our South Houston family dentists have probably already spoken to you about why you must wear an orthodontic retainer after your Houston braces treatment. There are multiple types of orthodontic retainers available to patients, and which we recommend to you will depend on your particular case. The most common type of orthodontic retainer is the Hawley retainer–sometimes called a wire retainer. In this article, we will discuss how to wear your Hawley wire retainer and take care of it.

What Is A Hawley Retainer?

Hawley retainers–also referred to as removable retainers or wire retainers–are made up of two components:

  • Acrylic Base: This base is custom shaped to fit the roof of your mouth and behind your lower teeth. Patients can pick what color they want their base to be.
  • Metal Wire: The wire component runs across your teeth, similar to the archwire of your South Houston metal braces or South Houston ceramic braces.

Together, these retainers hold your teeth in place while your teeth settle in the soft tissues of your mouth. How long you wear your retainers will depend on your particular case, but our South Houston family dentist often recommends you wear them 24/7 for 6 months to a year (with the exception of mealtimes) and then only at night afterward.

Taking Care Of Your Wired Retainer After Houston Braces Treatment At Our South Houston Dentist Office

Much like how you have to take care of your teeth while wearing braces in order to enjoy the best results, you also have to take care of your retainers. Here’s how.

Brushing Your Removable Retainers

Brush your Hawley retainer with lukewarm water after every meal with a soft toothbrush. You don’t need to use toothpaste, as this can damage the acrylic, but do be sure to gently scrub it,

Soak Your Hawley Retainer

At your next appointment with our South Houston family dentist, ask if soaking your retainers in a special cleaning solution is an option. We can recommend what works best for your retainers and the best way to do so.

Our South Houston Family Dentist Will Determine If Hawley Retainers Are Right For You

As you near the end of your Houston braces treatment, please book an appointment with our South Houston family dentist so we can take impressions of your teeth. Following the impressions, we will send them to our lab to make your retainers. If we determine that Hawley retainers are right for you, we will have them made and provide you with detailed instructions on how to wear them.

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Wednesday, 09 December 2020 17:20

Properly Wearing Your Retainers After Houston Braces

After Houston braces, our patients have to wear orthodontic appliances known as retainers in order to maintain the new alignment of their teeth. There are several types of retainers available, each with different pros and cons. However, they all have one thing in common besides protecting your teeth from shifting again: they need to be worn properly in order to maximize their effectiveness. When you wear your retainers and take proper care of them, your teeth will be straight and healthy for years and years to come!

Wearing Your Retainers As Instructed

We understand that wearing retainers after finishing Houston braces treatment is quite the dread, but it is absolutely critical if you want to enjoy your brand new smile for years to come. Otherwise, your teeth will quickly go back to their old, misaligned position. We typically recommend that our patients at our Houston and South Houston family dentist offices wear their retainers for 24 hours a day (except when eating) for at least 6 months to a year. However, this will depend on the individual. Once this initial time period is over, you should wear your retainers every night while you sleep.

Cleaning Your Orthodontic Retainers

There are different types of retainers available to our patients. Much like our Houston braces, which type we recommend to you depends on your particular case. Since you spend much of your time wearing your retainers in the first phase, they will collect whatever is on your teeth, including bacteria, plaque, and tartar. If illness-causing bacteria such as streptococcus is left to accumulate on your retainers, you may get sick with an infection, so it is imperative you clean them every day. 

Traditional Hawley retainers and transparent removable retainers may be brushed with a soft-bristle toothbrush after each meal. You may also be able to soak your retainers in a cleaning solution, but be sure to ask us for recommendations so you’re keeping your retainers in tip-top condition. We can also discuss how long you should soak them for, as you don’t want to soak them too long. Soaking Hawley retainers for too long may corrode the metal components.

Bonded retainers, on the other hand, are best cleaned by flossing them when you floss your teeth since this type of retainer is glued to the back of your teeth. Our Houston and South Houston family dentists will be more than happy to teach you the proper flossing technique as well.

Visit Our Family Dentist In Houston And South Houston To Learn About Proper Retainer Care

If you are about to wear retainers or have been wearing them for some time, then please book an appointment with us so we can check on your alignment and assess how well you are taking care of your teeth. We will help keep your perfect smile for years to come!

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Monday, 30 November 2020 17:06

The Importance Of Retainers After Houston Braces

Approaching the end of your Houston braces treatment is an exciting feeling because you will be able to show off a gorgeous smile really soon! However, giving you a new smile doesn’t just finish there. In fact, once your treatment is completed, you will have to switch to wearing orthodontic retainers for an extended period of time, but don’t worry–they are more flexible than dental braces. In this article, we will explain the importance of wearing retainers after your Houston braces treatment.

Your Teeth Will Tend To Shift Again

Both children and adults who wear braces will experience this. This occurs because the teeth haven’t had a chance to fully settle into the soft tissues of your mouth. Remember that, for at least an entire year, your teeth have been 100% reliant on metal, ceramic, or even plastic from your Invisalign Clear Aligners in order to hold them in place. To mitigate this and let them settle into their new alignment, you should wear your retainers day and night for at least a year, but this will also depend on the individual’s case.

Retainers Protect Your Investment

Wearing retainers after completing your Invisalign, metal, or ceramic Houston braces treatment is a sure way to make your investment in your smile well worth it. As we age, our teeth naturally try to shift again, and as frustrating as this is, remember that your dental braces prevented (or got rid of) some serious complications with your dental health. By diligently wearing your retainers day and night and then transitioning to only wearing them most nights, you will strengthen your teeth so they remain straight and healthy for years and years to come. You might even get to enjoy your new, perfectly aligned smile for the rest of your life.

Get Fitted For Retainers at Centra Dental In Houston And South Houston

When you’re near the end of your Houston braces treatment, please book an appointment with us so we can confirm that you’re ready for your braces to be removed soon. At this appointment, we will also take impressions of your new smile so we can fit you for your retainers and educate you and how to wear them. We can’t wait to embrace your smile!

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Most patients who undergo dental braces treatment mistakenly believe that once the braces are off, there’s nothing else to do besides show off that new smile for the rest of their life. You can get to that point, but only when some extra measures are taken.

Remember That Your Teeth Can Still Shift After Houston Braces Treatment Is Complete

Dental braces–whether in the form of metal dental braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign–work because they are constantly applying pressure to your teeth and pushing them in the direction they need to go in order to become straight. When your dental braces come off, your teeth no longer have that pressure guiding them, which means they can shift and undo all the work your investment did.

Aside from natural shifting, there are some situations that can otherwise contribute to your teeth becoming crooked again, such as:

  • Teeth grinding
    • A condition in which many of our South Houston family dentist patients may grind their teeth or clench them tightly. Over time, this will cause your teeth to become crooked again. Some retainers help prevent this, but otherwise, a nightguard can help as well.
  • Wisdom Teeth
    • Wisdom tooth removal is very common these days. Wisdom teeth are extra teeth that a patient may have which, if not removed, will start to crowd the teeth and force their way above the gum line, which will push all your other teeth in different directions.

Protect Your Teeth After Houston Braces

In order to make certain the time and money you invested in wearing Houston braces wasn’t all for naught, we ask that you wear orthodontic retainers. Usually, we will recommend our South Houston family dentist patients wear retainers 24/7 for about a year, with the exception of meal times and brushing your teeth. This is because it takes roughly a year for your teeth to settle into the soft tissues in your mouth. By settling into the tissues of your mouth, this will help your teeth preserve their new alignment. 

Different Retainers For Different South Houston Braces Patients

At our South Houston family dentist office, we know that every patient and every bite is different. Depending on your particular case, we may recommend bonded retainers, traditional wire retainers, or transparent plastic orthodontic retainers. If you are nearing the end of your Houston braces treatment, please book an appointment with us so we can get you fitted for a retainer that will keep your smile straight and healthy.

Published in News
Tuesday, 18 August 2020 21:32

Do You Need To Clean Your Orthodontic Retainers?

After Houston braces, our patients have to wear orthodontic retainers in order to retain the new alignment of their teeth. There are several kinds of retainers available, each with different pros and cons. However, they all have one thing in common besides protecting your teeth from shifting again: they need to be cleaned. 

Why Your Retainers Should Be Cleaned

Because retainers are worn in your mouth after Houston braces, they can easily collect whatever is on your teeth, such as plaque, bacteria, and tartar. If you aren’t adamant about cleaning your orthodontic retainers, they may start to smell or taste really bad, which is unpleasant for you and may steer you away from wearing your retainers responsibly.

Bacteria are usually found in our mouths, which is why we have to keep them clean, but if illness-causing bacteria such as streptococcus is left to accumulate on your retainers, you may get sick with an infection.

How Should Retainers Be Cleaned?

Because every type of retainer is made of different materials, how you clean them will depend on this. However, here are some general tips and rules of thumb for each type.

Traditional Hawley Retainer and Transparent Removable Retainers

Brush your Hawley retainer or transparent retainer with lukewarm water after every meal with a soft toothbrush and be sure to brush your teeth as well, especially if you are in your first year after Houston braces. By brushing your teeth after every meal, you are ensuring no food particles get stuck in between your teeth and prevent your retainers from doing their job.

Consider asking our South Houston dentist at your next appointment if soaking your retainers in a special cleaning solution is an option. There are multiple options available, but we can recommend what works best for your retainers. We can also discuss how long you should soak them for, as you don’t want to soak them too long. Soaking Hawley retainers for too long may corrode the metal.

Bonded Permanent Retainers

Flossing is the best way to clean your bonded retainers, as they are fused to the teeth, so they cannot be removed and separately scrubbed. By flossing correctly, you will slide the thread between your teeth and around your bonded retainers. Our South Houston dentist will be more than happy to teach you the proper flossing technique. 

Visit Our South Houston Dentist To Learn More About Proper Retainer Care

If you are about to wear retainers or have been wearing them for some time, please book an appointment with us so we can check that you are taking proper care of your teeth and ensure that they have not shifted. We will help get you back on track to beautiful, straight teeth.

 

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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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