Retainers Chapel Hill

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Orthodontic Retainers for Straighter Teeth

Orthodontic retainers are often used following treatment with braces to straighten teeth that are misaligned. Teeth that have been straightened by braces can tend to revert to their original position, but retainers can prevent this from occurring. Retainers can also be used to correct speech issues and improve breathing issues. Retainers are usually made of plastic or wires and are customized to fit the unique needs of your mouth. The two broad categories or retainers are fixed and removable. The most common types of retainers that are prescribed are Hawley, bonded, and removable retainers. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of retainer, which are detailed below.

Retainers can be a wonderful option for patients who are suffering from issues related to bite irregularities or other orthodontic issues. If you would like to learn more about retainers or talk about what retainer is best for you, please read below, or contact our staff who will be happy to answer any of your questions and/or set up a consultation.

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer is the most commonly used retainer. This retainer is made of a metal wire that holds the teeth in place and an acrylic piece that rests on the palate or under your tongue.

There are several advantages to this type of retainer, including the following:

  • Easily personalized. The Hawley retainer can come in a variety of designs and colors.
  • Removable: Because the Hawley retainer is removable, cleaning it is much easier.
  • Quickly made
  • Easily modified to a wide range of cases
  • Easy to adjust
  • Durable
  • Easy to repair
  • Does not affect your bite, which makes eating continue to feel natural

Disadvantages to this retainer type include the following:

  • Because they are removable, it is not uncommon for them to be lost or be seen as a chew toy by the family dog
  • Metal wire makes it visible
  • Can be uncomfortable to wear
  • Can increase saliva production
  • Can cause difficulty speaking
  • If not properly cleaned, can create additional oral health issues

Clear Plastic Retainers

Clear plastic retainers are removable clear thin trays that are customized to fit your teeth and prevent them from moving.

There are several advantages to this type of retainer, including the following:

  • Because they are customized to your specific teeth, they are extremely effective in preventing movement
  • Practically invisible
  • Comfortable
  • Removable

Disadvantages to this retainer type include the following:

  • Expensive
  • Can cause a shift in your bite
  • Less durable than other retainer types
  • Can be scratched if not handled carefully
  • Needs to be replaced more frequently

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are permanent retainers made of metal wires that are glued to your teeth.

  • There are several advantages to this type of retainer, including the following:
  • Because they are permanent, they will not get lost and are less likely to become damaged
  • Less visible than Hawley retainers
  • More comfortable
  • Generally does not affect eating or speaking

Disadvantages to this retainer type include the following:

  • Requires additional oral hygiene maintenance
  • Increased likelihood of food becoming caught in them, which can result in gum disease developing
  • Flossing can be difficult

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Caring for Your Retainer

It is important to be aware that tartar, plaque, and bacteria can develop on a retainer just as easily as teeth. As such, it is important to practice consistent and proper oral health care techniques with your retainer. For removable retainers, it is important to brush them twice daily, rinsing them thoroughly with water and allowing them time to dry. When you are not wearing your retainers, it is important to keep them in their case, which should also be cleaned regularly.

For those with fixed retainers, it is important to practice good general oral health habits.

  • Brush twice daily (minimum) and practice proper brushing technique. In addition to brushing regularly, it is also important to brush effectively. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about proper brushing techniques.
  • Floss daily. If you are someone who tends to avoid flossing, you may want to consider flossing alternatives, such as interdental brushes or floss picks.
  • Be mindful of your diet. One of the best ways you can prevent dental issues from developing is to avoid foods that are sugary or high in starch. If you do drink soda or sugary beverages, try to use a straw to limit exposure of sugar to your teeth. It is also important to swish your mouth with water following meals, as doing so can dislodge food remnants, which, if left alone can create future tooth decay.
  • Schedule regular dental exams. These regular checkups will allow your dentist to examine your retainers and ensure they are fitting
    properly. It will also allow them to monitor your overall oral health and provide you with a deep cleaning.
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Cornerstone Family Dentistry Reviews

Cornerstone Family Dentistry Chapel Hill NC

High-Quality Dental Care

At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.