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At Choonara Orthodontics, we provide the best orthodontics care possible for children, teens, and adults in Johannesburg, Randburg, Sandton, and the surrounding areas. To straighten your teeth, Dr. Choonara will use orthodontic tools that work best for you. You will also receive a retainer at the end of your active treatment to maintain your new smile forever.

The Retention Phase of Treatment

Once your treatment has been completed, retention is an essential step that involves wearing a retainer. If you do not wear this orthodontic device, your teeth will move back to their original position. The money and time you spent on braces will have been wasted if that happens.

The Benefit of Retainers

Your teeth are held in place by ligaments called periodontal ligaments. As soon as your teeth have been moved, these ligaments have to get used to their new positions for a few months to come. It's necessary to wear a retainer as we tell you to if you want to maintain your new smile for the rest of your life.

Whenever you get your braces off or when you're done with your Invisalign treatment, we'll fit you for a retainer. We'll clean your teeth, take an impression of your bite, and then make your custom retainer.

Different Types of Retainers

Types of orthodontic retainers.

Today, three types of retainers are used, and each has its benefits.

  • Hawley retainers are the most common type since they are made of acrylic that is shaped to fit your mouth and held in place by a wire. It is easy to put on and take out and has a simple design. When it comes to the plastic arch on a Hawley retainer, you can choose a different color or design to make it more personal.
  • Clear aligner retainers do not have visible wires. They work in the same way. Despite the ease with which this retainer can be put in and taken out, it is less durable than a Hawley retainer. Because of this, we do not recommend this retainer to patients who grind their teeth regularly.
  • A fixed retainer, as its name implies, cannot be removed by the wearer. This type of retainer is similar to lingual braces since it binds to the tongue or lingual side of the teeth and holds the teeth in place with a wire. The fixed retainer is often recommended when the teeth are at high risk of reverting to their former positions, as it will be worn for several months or longer.

Adjusting To Your Retainer

In the beginning, no matter what kind of retainer you use, you'll need some time to adjust to it. You may notice that you drool more than you normally do when you first start wearing your retainer. It is also common to have trouble speaking clearly during the first few days of wearing your retainer. Both of these problems will disappear once your mouth becomes accustomed to wearing the retainer.

We'll probably tell you to wear your removable retainer all the time for the first several months to a year. Then we might tell you to wear it only at night. Then we might tell you to wear it a few nights a week.

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Caring For Your Retainer

How to Clean Removable Retainers

Wearing a Hawley retainer is easy. Simply brush it gently with your toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste, then rinse it off with cool water to keep it clean and fresh.

A clear aligner retainer can be scratched by a toothbrush, so you should clean it every day with a denture cleaner or a retainer cleaner.

Keeping a fixed retainer clean is as simple as brushing it with a toothbrush and flossing your teeth. Use a floss threader or an interdental brush to make it easier to clean around your fixed retainer.

Always Use a Retainer Case

Several of our patients have lost their retainers or have accidentally thrown them away after wrapping them in napkins to eat. We advise them to always keep their case with them and use it. The retainer can bend if placed on or near high heat, so never put it on a hot radiator or anywhere else with excessive heat. We have to make new ones for them. If you take care of it and know what to do with it, your retainer can last forever.

Contact Choonara Orthodontics in South Africa Today!

Feel free to contact our office for Johannesburg orthodontic treatment today with any questions you may have regarding the retention phase of your treatment or any of our other services. Feel free to call our Johannesburg office at (011) 678-8090 and one of our hard-working staff members will be happy to assist. You can also fill out our online appointment form. If you want to have a healthy, beautiful smile for the rest of your life, make sure you follow our retainer instructions.

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