Retainers in Hickory, NC From The Experts at Herring Orthodontics

Hurray! You’ve just successfully completed your orthodontic treatment and gained a beautiful, straight smile! Now it’s time to enter the retention phase to ensure you keep your amazing smile looking great for years to come.

Retainers play an essential role for orthodontic patients: they secure and stabilize your alignment and give your gums, bones, and muscles time to adjust to the new positioning of your teeth. Retainers help limit changes in tooth position and maintain the bite corrections that were achieved with your treatment.

At Herring Orthodontics we can walk you through everything you need to know, including the various types of retainers available at our practice and find the right choice for you to complete your orthodontic treatment!

What is a Retainer and What Does It Do For Teeth?

A retainer is a personalized dental device worn over the teeth to maintain their corrected position after orthodontic treatment. Studies show that a majority of people will experience a worsening of their tooth alignment over time unless a retainer is used. Forces from your bite and even the resting pressures exerted by your lips, cheeks and tongue can contribute to teeth movement. Retainers apply gentle pressure to maintain the position of the teeth while your gums, bones, and muscles adjust to their new, straighter positions. Dr. Herring will recommend a removable or bonded retainer based on your needs and your lifestyle to ensure you’re able to maintain your new smile!

Types of Retainers Available At Herring Orthodontics

There are many types of retainers, but they generally fall into two categories: fixed and removable. Fixed or permanent retainers are small wires that are bonded to the backside of the upper or lower front teeth and help to prevent the teeth from shifting over time. On the other hand, removable retainers, like traditional (Hawley) and clear (Essix) retainers, can be taken in and out to eat or brush your teeth.

Both types are custom-made to fit your teeth, and based on your unique case, you may use a combination of them to maintain your teeth alignment. We instruct our patients to wear their removable retainers overnight while sleeping and to try hard to wear them every night. Studies show that there is a high risk of changes if retainers are not worn consistently.

Click below to view some of the options of fixed and removable retainers we offer at Herring Orthodontics.

Hawley Retainer

Hawley retainers, also known as traditional removable retainers, can be used on both upper and lower teeth. They consist of a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and keeps them in their new positions, held in place by an acrylic arch molded to fit the roof of your mouth.

These retainers are cost-effective, easy to repair, and can even be adjusted to allow for minor corrections in tooth movements, which makes them an excellent choice that can last for years with proper care.

Clear Retainer

Clear or aligner-style retainers are clear, removable devices that are custom-made to fit over the arch of your teeth. They are made from the same transparent plastics as aligners, such as polyethylene or polypropylene, and can be made in our office using a mold or your correctly aligned teeth.

Clear retainers come with some distinct advantages over traditional Hawley retainers. Although both retainers are removable, clear retainers are considerably less noticeable than wire retainers. They are also a great option if you suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding. However, they are not ideal for all types of orthodontic treatment, and they may be less cost-effective than other retainer options.

Vivera Retainer

Vivera retainers are clear, removable, plastic retainers manufactured by the makers of Invisalign. They are made from a stronger material than regular clear plastic retainers, making them less likely to break. Vivera retainers are custom-made using a laser scan of your mouth, and they are a durable, reliable, long-lasting solution to maintain tooth alignment, but they do tend to come in at a higher price than other options.

Fixed or Bonded Retainer (Permanent Retainer)

Fixed retainers or bonded retainers consist of an orthodontic wire that’s bonded directly behind the top and/or bottom front teeth, ensuring they remain aligned. They offer a discreet option as the wire is bonded on the tongue-side of the teeth, similar to lingual braces, and they remove any possibility of losing your retainer. Fixed retainers are a reliable option for maintaining straight teeth, and they last between 3-10 years, but they can be slightly more expensive than basic removable retainers.

Keep Your Teeth Straight With Retainers from Herring Orthodontics! 

If you are almost finished with your braces treatment or want to learn more about our post-orthodontic retainers, schedule a consultation online or contact us directly. Our team is here to guide you and discuss tailored options that align with your budget and ideal aesthetic for your retention phase. We want to help you protect your perfect smile and ensure you are on the best path toward long-term and optimal dental health.

Contact us below to schedule a complimentary consultation.