Retainers ensure teeth remain in their straight and correct position following braces or clear aligners. Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics, provides patients living in Boston, Norwood, Brookline and Framingham, MA, with retainers following orthodontic treatment to maintain their new look.
What are Retainers?
When the teeth are moved into their proper, straight position with orthodontics, it is essential to know they can shift back to a crooked position. Retainers are the difference between excellent and good results following braces. They are simply a custom-made device worn following braces to give the bones time to tighten around the newly positioned teeth.
Retainers are made by taking an impression from which the retainer is molded. Once it is completed, patients wear retainers all the time except when eating and brushing their teeth for the first few months, eventually scaling back the time until they are only worn at night.
Types of Retainers
There are three types of retainers worn as the follow-up to braces. Dr. Baloul determines which one is best for each patient’s situation.
These retainers are similar in design to Invisalign® and are not noticeable while wearing them. Because they are fragile, they are not recommended for teeth grinders.
Vivera retainers are chosen by patients because they are made of clear, plastic material that is not noticeable and easy to wear. Because it can be removed when eating and brushing teeth, it is also easy to keep the retainer clean and makes maintaining excellent oral hygiene much more manageable. Vivera retainers are custom made for each patient’s mouth and recommended for older teens and adults because it is essential to keep up with the retainer.
Permanent retainers are affixed in the mouth by bonding bands around back teeth and worn for a few months. Dr. Baloul prescribes fixed retainers for patients whose teeth have a higher chance of shifting back into their crooked positions.
How Long Do I Have to Wear a Retainer?
The amount of time you wear your retainer involves several factors. Dr. Baloul discusses your post-orthodontic treatment when your retainer is made. As a guideline, most patients wear their retainers for a couple of years to ensure the teeth stay in the correct position. During this time, you meet with Dr. Baloul every few weeks.
How Do I Care for My Retainer?
It is important to clean your retainer daily to keep bacteria and food from building up on it. In addition, you must avoid placing it near anything hot, as it may melt. Retainers are costly to replace, so it is important to take care of it and keep up with it.
How Much Do Retainers Cost?
The cost of retainers is based on the type of retainer you receive as well as the extent of your post-orthodontic treatment. We discuss the cost of orthodontic treatment with each patient during a consultation with Dr. Baloul. We know this is an expensive treatment and offer financing through OrthoFi to make it more affordable.
At Elegant Orthodontics, we know every case is unique and specific needs may be different. Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, is a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics. Dr. Baloul offers orthodontic treatment to people living in Boston, Norwood, Brookline and Framingham, MA, as well as the surrounding areas, to straighten teeth and improve smiles. Contact us today and schedule your free consultation.