You just completed your long journey to an amazing smile, now what? To maintain optimal results, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills orthodontist Dr. Atoosa Nikaeen strongly recommends that you wear a retainer as soon as you complete your orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic retainers are custom-made appliances, designed to hold the teeth in place following braces or Invisalign. Usually made out of plastic and/or metal, retainers help ensure that your teeth-straightening investment lasts for years to come.
Why Are Retainers Necessary?
Just because your braces have been removed or your aligners shelved, does not mean that your teeth are forever fixed in place. Your teeth are constantly moving, so it is important to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from once again shifting positions.
Dr. Nikaeen provides personalized instructions about how often you should wear your retainer. In general, you can expect the following schedule:
- 0-6 months after treatment: Everyday, removing only when eating or brushing your teeth (about 22 hours a day).
- 9-12 months after treatment: Every night while sleeping (about 8 hours a day).
- After a year: At night, at least twice a week (about 16 hours a week).
Before Orthodontic Retainers
After Orthodontic Retainers
Different Types of Retainers
Retainers are available in different forms, and all are equally effective. At the end of your treatment, Dr. Nikaeen will suggest the type of retainer that will best maintain results and keep your smile healthy, given your individual circumstance.
- Clear plastic retainer – Usually placed on the upper and lower teeth, a clear plastic retainer is typically worn at night for approximately 24 months.
- Bonded retainer – Generally placed behind the lower and/or upper teeth, a bonded retainer is made of wire. It is semi-permanently attached, which enables it to stay in place for several years.
- Wire retainer – Also known as a Hawley retainer, a wire retainer not only holds your teeth in place but has the added benefit of being adjustable.
- Active retainer – This can either be a wire retainer or series of aligners.
Orthodontic Retainers Cost
The cost of orthodontic retainers depends on the retainer type you choose. As a rule, removable plastic essix retainers feature the lowest price, unless they are high-end Invisalign Vivera retainers. In this case, the removable orthodontic retainers cost equally or even higher than bonded and wire options. However, Hawley retainers usually have a more attractive price tag compared to fixed-wire solutions. With this, you should understand that different types of retainers have their advantages and disadvantages, covering both the effectiveness in certain cases and the comfort in use. Thus, you need to choose retainers following your dentist’s recommendations along with your budget calculations.
Your Orthodontic Consultation with Dr. Atoosa Nikaeen, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, CA
Dr. Nikaeen believes that everybody can have a fantastic smile. In her years of practice in Southern California, she has designed custom solutions for every type of alignment and bite imperfection. Whether you would like a minor correction or are seeking relief from a more severe problem, Dr. Nikaeen can help you achieve your aesthetic and dental health goals.
Nikaeen Orthodontics has proudly served the residents of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, including West LA, Westwood, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, for years. Contact our office today at (310) 444-1113 or send an email to schedule your free initial consultation.
“I am at the very end of my treatment and just recently fitted for my final set of retainers.” – Heavynn G. Los Angeles, CA