About Our Retainers
Redlands, CA dentist, Dr. Steve Tatevossian, offers orthodontic treatment for patients desiring straighter, more aligned teeth. When braces are finally removed, the patient is then fitted for a retainer, which is the final phase of treatment for orthodontic work. The objective of this phase is to ensure the teeth do not regress back to their previous position. A retainer will be used to maintain the improved position of the teeth. A retainer is a fixed or removable dental appliance which is custom-made to fit the teeth. Retainers are generally made from transparent plastic and thin wires to optimize the comfort of the patient. Retainers are worn for varying amounts of time, depending on the type of orthodontic treatment and the age of the patient. Patients must be adhere to a proactive effort to wear their retainer after orthodontic work. If the retainer is not worn as directed, treatment can fail or take much longer than anticipated.
Types of Retainers
There are a variety of retainers available; each one geared towards treating a different kind of dental problem. Dr. Tatevossian will make a retainer recommendation depending on the nature of the original diagnosis and the orthodontic treatment plan.
The following are some of the most common types of retainers:
- Hawley retainer – The Hawley retainer consists of a metal wire on an acrylic arch. The metal wire may be periodically adjusted by the orthodontist to ensure the teeth stay in the desired position. The acrylic arch is designed to fit comfortably on the lingual walls or palate of the mouth.
- Essix – The Essix retainer is the most commonly used vacuum formed retainer (VFR). A mold is initially made of the teeth in their new alignment, and then clear PVC trays are created to fit over the arch in its entirety. This type of retainer is much cheaper than many other types of retainers and they also do not affect the aesthetic appearance of the smile in the same way as the Hawley retainer. The disadvantage of is that they break and scratch more easily than other types of retainers.
- Fixed retainer – A fixed retainer is somewhat similar to a lingual brace in that it is affixed to the tongue side of a few teeth. Usually, a fixed retainer is used in cases where there has been either rapid or substantial movement of the teeth. It usually consists of a single wire. The inclination of the teeth to move rapidly means they are also more likely to regress back to their previous position if a fixed retainer is not placed.
"I Really Enjoy going to King House Dental... The staff are really friendly and honest on every visit."- P.B. / Yelp / Jan 17, 2017
"Dr. T, Emily, Liz, Monica and the ENTIRE staff is absolutely WONDERFUL!!! I have never had such a comfortable feeling with a dental office. Many usually dread going to the dentist, I use to, but now I like going! I trust the staff and have had a huge improvement with my dental hygiene! Thank you King House Dental!"- D.U. / Yelp / Apr 12, 2019
"King's House Dentistry staff and Dr. T are exceptional professionals. The office, or rather the house, has been beautifully restored in some areas and renovated everywhere else. The building, like the staff, is comfortable and inviting. Dr. T has done incredible work developing and fine tuning my oral appliance. No more bulking, embarrassing, inefficient CPAP machine for me. No more snoring!!! I haven't had this good a night's sleep in years. My temendous gratitude goes out to them!"- M.S. / Yelp / Mar 18, 2019
"I'm obsessed with them! So friendly and such amazing staff. They treat me respectfully every time I go and make u feel at home. I've been with them for over 10 years and I drive from Long Beach to see them! Best dentistry ever! You won't be disappointed! I promise you. Love u guys!!! Keep up the good work u all are amazing,"- T.J. / Yelp / Mar 16, 2019
"The best dentist and dental practice Ive ever been to! Had an extraction and after numbing wore off I was very surprised to have very minimal discomfort and pain at all. I will never leave! My husband is going to be switching dentists after all the raving I've done about Dr. T and his staff."- Y.N. / Yelp / Mar 05, 2019
These are a few basic things to consider for proper use and maintenance of your retainer:
Don't lose the appliance – Removable retainers are very easy to lose. It is advisable to place your retainer in the case it came in while eating, drinking and brushing. Leaving a retainer folded in a napkin at a restaurant or in a public restroom can be very costly if lost because a replacement must be created. A brightly colored case serves as a great reminder.
Don't drink while wearing a retainer – It is tempting to drink while wearing a retainer because of the unobtrusive nature of the device. However, excess liquid trapped under the trays can vastly intensify acid exposure to teeth, increasing the probability of tooth decay.
Don't eat while wearing a retainer – It can be difficult and awkward to eat while wearing a removable retainer and it can also damage the device. Food can get trapped around a Hawley retainer wire or underneath the palate, causing bad breath. When worn on the upper and lower arches simultaneously, VFR retainers do not allow the teeth to meet. This means that chewing is almost impossible.
Clean the retainer properly – Removable retainers can become breeding grounds for calculus and bacteria. It is essential to clean the inside and outside thoroughly as often as possible. Hawley retainers can be cleaned with a toothbrush. Because harsh bristles can damage the PVC surface of a VFR, denture cleaner or a specialized retainer cleaner is recommended for this type of device.
Wear the retainer as directed – This phase of treatment is critical. The hard work has been done, the braces are off and now it is tempting not to wear the retainer as often as the orthodontist recommends. Retainers are needed to give the muscles, tissues and bones time to stabilize the teeth in their new alignment. Failure to wear the retainer as directed can have regrettable consequences, such as teeth returning to their original position, added expense and lost time.
Plan Your Procedure
If you would like to learn more about orthodontic retainers, please contact King House Dental to inquire about a consultation with Dr. Steve Tatevossian.