Prevent Oral Relapse with Orthodontic Retainers


An orthodontic retainer is a dental device to keep your teeth from changing positions or moving after they have been orally corrected and straightened with dental braces. A retainer helps the teeth to maintain the new position permanently.

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When the teeth have been corrected by the braces, they will still try to shift and move back to their original place. This shifting attempt is also termed as relapse. Such relapses can be successfully prevented by using a retainer.

There are several types of removable (temporary) and permanent retainers in the market, let us explore some options:

• Bonded permanent retainer with lingual wire – The wires are made of metal such as copper, titanium, nickel, or even a combination of two metals. As it is permanent, you cannot remove it and it cannot be lost or damaged easily. You may converse easily without any difficulty. Bonded retainers are very long-lasting and durable.

• Hawley removable retainer – The body is made of plastic or acrylic with metallic wire. The retainer is adjustable and you can even choose to have customized plastic color. Removable retainers are mostly stain-proof and convenient to use. They can be removed for maintaining oral hygiene and for other purposes like eating. They can offer oral support for many years without getting damaged.

• Removable clear plastic retainer – Plastic retainers are made of polyurethane or plastic material. They are perfectly fitted so that teeth do not move. Such retainers are thin and therefore offer more comfort. They are nearly invisible as they are made of clear plastic. You can use such plastic retainers for a period of 6 to 12 months.

Cost Factor

Prices vary according to the retainer types and self price structure set by the orthodontists. You may also ask your dental practitioner whether dental insurance can cover the cost of dental devices. The price of a retainer also depends on the location of the dental clinic and on the kind of dental work you require for your oral care. The cost of an orthodontic retainer can be tied-up along with the overall dental expenses incurred by you.

Removable dental retainers could pose an issue for people who do not take proper care of them. If you lose or misplace the retainer, then there is a chance of relapse, wherein your teeth will naturally try to move back to their original place or position. Removable retainers can be cleaned with a soft and gentle brush. Orthodontists can suggest soaking the retainer for effective cleaning.

Permanent retainers are suggested for young kids who do not follow proper instructions for a removable retainer. Permanent dental retainers are also preferred when the dentist feels that the teeth may relapse. Permanent retainers are removed in cases there is excess plaque build-up and gum infections, otherwise, these dental fixtures are left in place for a long period.

Retainers offer oral corrective measures for kids and adults who have their braces removed. Retainers may appear to be similar, but no two retainers have the size or measurement.


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