Dental Retainers – A Comparison Guide
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, which retainers should I opt for?” We heard you asking, so we’ve analysed the three main types of dental retainers for you!
For those of us on braces or Invisalign, nothing quite compares with that special moment when your dentist declares: “You’re done.” It’s joy and relief, satisfaction and smugness, all rolled into one amazing emotion. Then comes the dampener: retainers.
While it’s natural to feel bummed out at the thought of wearing more oral devices, we really shouldn’t treat dental retainers with such disdain when they’re the only thing stopping our crooked teeth from making a comeback. If you like the way your new smile looks and want to keep it that way, retainers are your new best friend. Since there are several types of retainers in the market, we’ve helped you weigh the pros and cons of each so you can make a more informed decision.
What it is: Removable wire retainers that fit the roof of your mouth or along the inside of your lower teeth
Price estimate: $300 to $600
We say: Hawley retainers can be rather uncomfortable at first and may irritate your lips and gums. They also tend to impede speech more than other retainer types. However, they are one of the most cost-effective options. These retainers are quite durable and, with proper care, can last for years. They can also be adjusted for fit and repaired if broken.
What it is: Fixed retainers that involve bonding a wire along the inside of your teeth to hold them in place
Price estimate: $300 to $500
We say: The great thing about permanent retainers is that you won’t forget to put them on — they’re already on 24/7. This, however, is also their biggest drawback. Permanent retainers can make it difficult to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly, which can lead to oral hygiene issues. They also tend to rub against the tongue, which can cause discomfort, and while we call them ‘permanent’, they are still subject to wear-and-tear and damage over time, and may need replacing after some time.
What it is: Removable clear retainers that are custom-made to fit your teeth
Price estimate: $200 to $500 for one pair
We say: Clear retainers are virtually invisible so you don’t have to worry about aesthetics (and hopefully, would be more motivated to wear them). As they are moulded to your teeth, they feel less bulky than Hawley retainers but this also means they are not adjustable — if you let your teeth move through infrequent wear, you may need to get new retainers made.
Bonus! Vivera Retainers
What it is: Removable clear retainers by Align Technology, the company that manufactures Invisalign
Price estimate: $900 to $1,000 for three pairs
We say: If you’re an Invisalign patient, you’d love Vivera retainers because they’re basically the same as your aligners but made to hold, not move, teeth. While they work just like other clear retainers, Align Technology’s material research and quality guarantee means that Vivera retainers tend to be more durable and comfortable than other options.
So, in summary…
Now that you understand your options, speak to your dentist for a professional opinion before making a decision. Just remember, if you like your smile, put on a retainer on it! Request for an appointment with our dentists to get all your questions answered.