Retainers are orthodontic appliances used primarily to hold the teeth in their new positions and prevent relapse. Relapse is the movement of the teeth to their positions before starting orthodontic treatment and is caused due to muscle memory. Retainers help the teeth get adjusted to their new positions to continue to stay in their orthodontically right positions.
What are the different types of retainers?
- Vacuum Form Retainer: VFR is a horseshoe-shaped retainer made from a dental-grade plastic material. It is custom-fabricated to fit perfectly on the teeth, and since it is made from transparent plastic material, it is quite an aesthetically pleasing option.
- Hawley Retainer: This type of retainer is made from a combination of dental-grade plastic and metal wires. The plastic piece fits on the roof or floor of the mouth, and the metal wires rest against the teeth to hold them in position. These retainers are highly durable, and the dentist can make a significant amount of adjustments to them.
- Lingual retainer: A lingual retainer is fixed to the teeth on their rear side. Since this type of retainer is fixed to the teeth, you need not worry about wearing it and taking it off whenever required. Although such retainers are quite effective in maintaining the position of the teeth, they tend to accumulate a lot of plaque and tartar deposits in the long run, making it slightly difficult to maintain oral hygiene.
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