Clear retainers and spark aligners London are often mistaken for one another. Both of them serve distinct roles in orthodontic treatment. While aligners are used to achieve tooth movement, clear retainers are crucial in maintaining the position of teeth once orthodontic treatment is completed and the aligners or braces have been removed.
Not all retainers are created equal, and the longevity of your clear retainers will depend on the type you choose. The type of retainer you have will determine how and when you should wear it. This ensures a proper fit and minimizing discomfort.
Determining the exact lifespan of clear retainers is challenging, as it varies from patient to patient. Factors such as individual compliance and diligent care of the retainers greatly influence their longevity.
In this guide, today we will provide you with a few tips to maximize their lifespan. So, if you are curious about the lifespan of your clear retainers and how to make them last, continue reading to gain a deeper understanding.
Various Types of Orthodontic Retainers
Orthodontic retainers come in various types, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages. The type of your retainer depends on your specific needs. Let’s explore the most common types of orthodontic retainers:
- Clear Retainers
Clear retainers are made of a transparent plastic material. They material is polyurethane or polyethylene. Clear aligners are the most popular options. They are discreet, comfortable, and provide a snug fit over the teeth. Spark invisible aligners are custom-made to match the contours of your teeth, offering an aesthetically pleasing option for those who prefer a nearly invisible retainer.
- Hawley Retainers
Hawley retainers consist of a plastic or acrylic base that is moulded to fit the roof of the mouth, along with a wire that wraps around the front teeth. The wire can be adjusted to apply gentle pressure to maintain tooth alignment. Hawley retainers are known for their durability and are often customizable with various colours and designs on the plastic portion.
- Fixed Retainers
Unlike removable retainers, fixed retainers are bonded to the back surfaces of the teeth using a dental adhesive. These retainers consist of a thin wire that remains in place for an extended period, providing continuous support to prevent teeth from shifting. Fixed retainers are particularly beneficial for individuals who may be prone to neglecting or losing removable retainers.
- Essix Retainers
Essix retainers are similar to clear retainers but are typically made of a slightly thicker, more durable material. They are custom-fit to your teeth and are known for their snugness and comfort. Essix retainers are removable and easy to clean, making them a convenient option for many patients.
- Vivera Retainers
Vivera retainers are specifically designed for patients who have completed Invisalign treatment. These retainers are made by using the same technology as Invisalign aligners and are known for their precise fit and durability. Vivera retainers are custom-made and typically come in sets, allowing for periodic replacement to maintain their effectiveness.
Tips to Maximize Your Retainers’ Lifespan
To extend the longevity of your retainers and keep them in good condition, following are a few helpful tips to follow:
- Clean them regularly
Clean your retainers daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive, mild toothpaste. Gently brush all surfaces of the retainer to remove plaque, bacteria, and any food particles that may be trapped. Avoid using hot water or harsh cleaners that could damage the retainer.
- Handle with care
Always handle your retainers with clean hands to prevent transferring bacteria or damaging them. Avoid bending or twisting the retainers, as this can affect their shape and fit.
- Store properly
When not in use, store your retainers in their designated case. This helps protect them from damage, loss, or accidental disposal. Avoid leaving them exposed to air, as they can warp or become brittle.
- Remove when eating or drinking
Take out your retainers before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. This prevents staining, warping, or breakage that can occur from contact with food, hot liquids, or sugary beverages.
- Keep away from pets and children
Store your retainers in a safe place, out of reach of pets and young children who may mistake them for toys or chew on them, leading to damage.
- Attend regular check-ups
Visit your orthodontist as scheduled to have your retainers checked and adjusted if necessary. Regular check-ups help ensure that your retainers fit properly on your teeth and they are effective in maintaining your teeth alignment.
- Follow instructions
Wear your retainers as instructed by your orthodontist. Consistency is key in maintaining the results of your orthodontic treatment. Skipping or prolonging the time without wearing your retainers can lead to teeth shifting.
- Keep them away from hot water
Do not use hot water to clean your retainers. Neither you can soak them in hot water. This could cause distortion or damage to the material of your retainer.
Don’t hesitate to start your smile transformation. Contact Thousand Smiles today to schedule a personalized consultation and experience the difference our expertise can make. Our dedicated team will provide you with exceptional orthodontic care. The treatment plan will be custom-made to suit your unique needs. Whether you are seeking braces, spark clear aligners in London, or retainers, we are here to guide you every step of the way.