Getting to the stage where you graduate from wearing braces to finally putting on a retainer is exciting since it signifies progress. As such, here is what you should know about retainers.
A retainer is used to hold your teeth in place once braces come off. Since it takes close to a year for your periodontal ligaments to cement fully into their new positions, it is imperative that you follow your orthodontist’s instructions to the letter regarding retainer usage. Disregarding your orthodontist’s directions could see the gaps opening up again or your teeth shifting and getting crooked once more.
In fact, your orthodontist may require that you do not remove your retainer at all for some months until they allow you only to be wearing it at night. After some years, you will wear the retainer for a few nights every week. Nevertheless, do not put the retainer on the shelf for too long as it may fail to fit when you try to put it back on.
At first, retainers are somewhat uncomfortable. However, let your orthodontist know if the retainer is too uncomfortable as they can make some adjustments to make it more comfortable. Also, you may develop a lisp when you first wear the retainer. Nonetheless, you will get used to it, and your speech will improve after a while. Most people think about Hawley retainers whenever they consider retainers. So what is a Hawley retainer? What are the advantages of a Hawley retainer? What are the disadvantages of a Hawley retainer? This article will answer those questions in detail.
What Is a Hawley Retainer?
The Hawley retainer is the most common form of retainer. It is designed out of wire or plastic and acrylic. The retainer’s metal or wire spreads over the front of your teeth. It typically lies on your six front teeth and usually has loops around your canines that are essential for making adjustments. The acrylic is custom molded to ensure it fits into your mouth perfectly. The Hawley retainer will enable your teeth to settle into place naturally while allowing for easy adjustments that keep your teeth in check.
Components of the Hawley Retainer
• Acrylic Base
The acrylic base is what renders support to all the other parts of the retainer. The base comes in clear designs as well as a wide array of colors. It will remain in contact with your teeth’s palatal surface.
• Adam Clasp
The Adam clasp is a 0.7 mm string of fabricated wire that is engaged with the mesiobuccal and distobuccal undercuts of the corrected teeth. Its primary role is to offer structural support to the retainer. The Adam clasp is typically placed on the first molar.
• Labial Bow
The labial bow offers anterior stabilization to the retainer. Additionally, the labial bow ensures that your incisors do not move.
• Finger Spring
The finger spring is a typical component in active Hawley appliances. However, the finger spring is not found in passive retention retainers. This spring is used for movement tipping purposes. Movement tipping is moving the teeth’s crowns whenever the root apex is stationary.
What Are the Advantages of a Hawley Retainer?
- The Hawley retainers are easy to personalize. You will be wearing the retainer for years so customizing it will make a better experience. Not only are Hawley retainers customizable, but they also come in different colors to suit individual preferences.2. The Hawley retainer is engineered at a lab. This means that you do not have to spend time with your orthodontist waiting for them to design one for you.3. The retainer can be easily removed for eating, brushing, and flossing purposes.4. The acrylic palate provides superior anchoring due to its rigid nature thus allowing transverse expansion.5. The Hawley retainer is versatile, and therefore adjustments and modifications can be quickly done.6. The retainer can serve your needs for many years.7. In addition to taking care of your teeth, the Hawley retainer also takes care of the bone that requires filling at the roots of corrected teeth.8. This retainer also comes in handy in the correction of anterior crossbites.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Hawley Retainer?
- The effectiveness of a Hawley retainer depends a lot on the patient’s willingness to follow their orthodontist’s instructions.
- The labial bow is sometimes deemed unaesthetic by some patients.
- Your initial days with the Hawley retainer might see you develop a lisp in your speech. This is because your mouth is producing extra saliva due to the foreign object around the teeth. Nonetheless, you will recover your normal speech after a few days. Talking to a mirror can help hasten this process.
- The Hawley retainer is not effective at correcting rotated teeth.
- The Hawley retainer’s wire tends to cross the occlusal plane thus causing some discomfort.
- Tipping movements are the only type of movements possible with a Hawley retainer.
- Failing to wear the retainer for a while is risky. The days following your braces removal are when your teeth are most vulnerable. Thus, removing your Hawley retainer poses a big problem. The ligaments used to hold your teeth are usually elastic. The retainer is tasked with helping your teeth maintain their positions as the ligaments get accustomed to the new environment. Thus failing to put on your retainer before the ligaments adjust to the new locations means that your teeth might shift. Consequently, the retainer may fail to get back on or be very uncomfortable. Thus, if this happens, visit your orthodontist immediately so they can rectify the situation.
Hawley retainers are incorporated right after your braces are removed. However, the retainer can also be used for specific treatments. Special retainers can be employed to help an individual get over a bad habit such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. Additionally, the Hawley retainer can be used at night to assist with breathing and combat sleep apnea. It can also assist persons with temporomandibular joint disorders as well as bruxism.
You can only use a retainer designed for you by your orthodontist. This is because Hawley retainers have to be custom created and only your orthodontist knows your smile perfectly.
Your smile will only be as good as your orthodontist’s expertise. Therefore, invest your time to look for a good orthodontist as only they can give you that killer-smile you crave for.
Team Demas Orthodontics
27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA