Maintain Your Perfect Smile With Retainers
Orthodontic treatment is a transformative process that helps individuals achieve beautiful, aligned smiles. Once the active phase of treatment, involving braces or aligners is complete, it’s crucial to maintain the achieved results. This is where retainers play a pivotal role. Retainers ensure you maintain your straight smile, and they’re removable for your convenience.
At DeQuattro Orthodontics, our Westerly and Wakefield, RI orthodontist, Dr. Frank DeQuattro, understands the significance of retainers in preserving your radiant smile. Dr. DeQuattro and his experienced team offer a range of retainer options, including Essix retainers, Hawley retainers, and bonded retainers. By providing valuable insights and personalized recommendations, our team assists you in making an informed decision to keep your smile picture-perfect for a lifetime.
Your Retainer Options
At DeQuattro Orthodontics, we offer different types of retainers depending on your specific needs. During your appointment, Dr. DeQuattro will talk to you about which retainer best suits you and explain the benefits of wearing them during your orthodontic treatment or once your braces have been removed.
These are the three types of retainers we offer at our Wakefield and Westerly dental offices:
Essix retainers are clear, removable retainers made from durable plastic material. At DeQuattro Orthodontics, Essix retainers are a popular choice due to their comfort and aesthetics. These retainers are custom-made to fit snugly over the teeth, providing gentle pressure to maintain their alignment. They’re nearly invisible and less expensive than other retainer types, making them an ideal option for patients who are self-conscious about wearing an orthodontic appliance.
Dr. DeQuattro takes precise impressions of patients’ teeth to fabricate Essix retainers tailored to their unique needs. Patients can easily remove and insert these retainers, allowing for hassle-free oral hygiene routines and comfortable eating experiences. Regular care and maintenance, including gentle cleaning with a toothbrush and mild soap, ensure the longevity of Essix retainers. Their clear appearance makes them an excellent choice for individuals who wish to retain their smile discreetly.
Another popular retainer option is the Hawley retainers, appreciated for their reliability in preserving orthodontic results for patients. Hawley retainers consist of an acrylic base and a wire component that wraps around the teeth. They’re the traditional model known for their durability and long-lasting results.
The acrylic base of Hawley retainers can be personalized with various colors and designs, adding a touch of individuality. The wire component exerts gentle pressure on the teeth, keeping them in their corrected positions. These retainers are adjustable, allowing for modifications if minor tooth movement occurs over time.
We’ll ensure a meticulous fitting process for Hawley retainers, ensuring optimal comfort and effectiveness. Regular check-ups with Dr. DeQuattro enable necessary adjustments to be made, ensuring the retainer continues to serve its purpose effectively. Proper care, including regular cleaning and storing in a retainer case, helps maintain the quality and longevity of Hawley retainers. Their durable construction and custom-fit design make them a trusted choice for maintaining orthodontic results.
For patients seeking a more permanent solution, DeQuattro Orthodontics offers bonded retainers. These retainers consist of a thin wire that’s bonded to the back surfaces of the teeth, usually on the lower front teeth. They’re non-removable as they’re cemented in place, providing continuous support to prevent any relapse or unwanted tooth movement. Bonded retainers are a great option for individuals who prefer not to worry about taking their retainers in and out. They’re particularly beneficial for both severe crowding and large spacing.
Dr. DeQuattro will ensure the precise placement of bonded retainers, considering individual bite patterns and occlusion. Patients appreciate the convenience of not having to remember to insert or remove a retainer, as bonded retainers remain fixed in place. Regular dental check-ups at DeQuattro Orthodontics enable the monitoring and maintenance of bonded retainers to ensure their longevity. The permanent support provided by bonded retainers offers peace of mind and helps maintain the orthodontic results achieved.
Comparison and Considerations
When selecting the most suitable retainer type, it’s essential to consider various factors. These include long-term effectiveness, patient comfort, aesthetic preferences, and individual compliance. Dr. DeQuattro will guide patients through this decision-making process, providing valuable insights and recommendations.
We have created this useful guide of pros and cons to help you decide and talk to Dr. DeQuattro about the best retainer option for you. Read our guide here — Types of Retainers.
Taking Care of Your Retainers
To keep your retainers functional for as long as possible, Dr. DeQuattro has the following recommendations:
- Wear your retainer as directed. This is the best way to preserve your healthy smile and prevent teeth from shifting back into their original positions.
- Keep your retainer clean. We’ll show you how to clean both removable and non-removable retainers. Clean your retainer after meals and before bed. If you can’t complete a full cleaning, rinse your mouth with water.
- Handle your retainer with care. Keep your retainer in its case when you’re not wearing it. This will protect your retainers from being accidentally thrown away, stepped on, or eaten by your pets.
- Visit your dentist. It’s highly recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings. They’ll be able to determine whether your retainer needs to be adjusted.
We’ve also created a short guide for your convenience — Retainer Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Changes in tooth positions occur naturally throughout our lives. Don’t be alarmed if small changes occur, as your teeth aren’t set in concrete but in bone. The bone around your teeth continually changes as cells are absorbed and replenished. This explains why your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
Retainers can be worn for an extended period as long as your orthodontist makes any appropriate adjustments. While retainers are crucial for maintaining the results of orthodontic treatment, it’s important to follow the recommended wearing schedule and consult with a dental professional to ensure the optimal duration for retainer use.
Wearing retainers for too long without proper guidance from an orthodontist may lead to consequences such as misalignment or discomfort, so it’s essential to seek professional advice and make any necessary adjustments along the way. Many individuals choose to wear removable retainers nightly for the rest of their lives to preserve their orthodontic results.
If your teeth are out of place despite undergoing orthodontic treatment as a teenager, there are a few steps you can take. First, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist to evaluate your current situation and determine the cause of the misalignment. They will recommend the most appropriate course of action, which may include orthodontic retreatment or alternative solutions such as clear aligners or braces.
An orthodontic “tune-up” may be necessary to get your smile looking its best. It’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent further dental complications and achieve the desired alignment for your teeth.
If your retainer has broken, it’s crucial to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. They will assess the damage and determine the best course of action, which may involve repairing or replacing the retainer. Avoid attempting any DIY fixes as they may compromise the effectiveness of the retainer and could potentially cause harm.
Preserve Your Orthodontic Results!
Orthodontic retainers are indispensable in preserving the beautiful smiles achieved through orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions about retainers, Dr. DeQuattro is happy to help. Call our Wakefield office at (401) 783-9890 or our Westerly office at (401) 596-2264 to schedule an appointment.
Alternatively, you can fill out our online contact form, and a staff member will get back to you promptly. We’re proud to provide services to Narragansett, South Kingstown, Charlestown, and Weekapaug, RI.