When you finish your orthodontic treatment, you'll need to ensure that your teeth stay in their new positions. Teeth often shift back to where they were before. You can prevent that from happening by wearing a retainer. And if you prefer a removable rather than a permanent retainer, then you have two choices: a wire retainer or a clear retainer. But which one is right for you?
Clear Retainers Look Better
Wire retainers, also known as Hawley retainers, are more visible because of the wire that goes over the teeth. Clear retainers on the other hand are almost invisible because they are made of clear plastic, much like Invisalign aligners. If you value aesthetics and privacy, then choose a clear retainer.
Clear Retainers Are More Comfortable
Clear retainers fit over your teeth and don't contact the soft tissues of your mouth. But the acrylic plate of wire retainers touches the palate behind your teeth. This can be uncomfortable for some people, and can even cause some patients to lisp until they become accustomed to the retainer. If comfort is your priority, then choose a clear retainer.
Clear Retainers Are More Fragile
Wire retainers are more durable than clear retainers are. Clear retainers are made of thin medical-grade plastic, while wire retainers are made of acrylic and metal. Because of this, you can damage clear retainers more easily than you can damage wire retainers. This means that wire retainers are more suitable for people that grind their teeth.
Wire Retainers Stain Less Easily
The clear plastic of clear retainers can stain over time, especially if you often enjoy foods that can stain, like pasta, curry, and even pizza. And once stained, your clear retainer will no longer be invisible, and you'll need to replace it. But the acrylic and metal of wire retainers don't stain. And even if a wire retainer does pick up food particles, you can easily clean them.
Wire Retainers Are Adjustable
Clear retainers don't allow for any adjustments. This can become a problem if you have any major dental work done, such as adding a crown or filling to teeth. Dental work may change the fit of a clear retainer. But your dentist can adjust your wire retainers for you if necessary. This is useful when you are getting used to your wire retainer, as your dentist can tweak it for you if need be.
Both wire retainers and clear retainers can help you keep your teeth straight after braces. But make sure you understand the differences between the types before you choose one.
Contact a company like Poulson Orthodontics to learn more.
Up until a year ago, I did my best to keep my teeth and gums clean. But after securing a new job, I began to work late into the night and didn't have the time or energy to brush and floss before I retired to bed. My busy schedule and poor dental hygiene finally affected my teeth and gums. After experiencing severe pain in several of my teeth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist examined my mouth and discovered three large cavities in my molars. After four long weeks, my dentist finally completed my dental work. I learned a very painful lesson during that time. No matter how busy you are, always brush and floss. I started this blog to inform other people about the importance of good dental care. I hope you find the time to read it. Thanks for visiting.