The Difference Between The Various Retainers Types

At this stage of your teeth-straightening process, you probably already know the answer to the question “how much do braces cost in Singapore?”. But does the same go for retainers? Here is a quick guide to the types of retainers available and how much they may cost.

Lingual retainers ($480-$600 per arch)

Lingual retainers usually consist of a solid or braided wire bonded to the back of the teeth. Often used on the lower teeth, they are also known as fixed, permanent or bonded retainers.

Pros

Near-invisibility: Popular for their invisibility, lingual retainers will do the trick if you want to avoid being self-conscious when talking and laughing.

No room for carelessness: If you’re the type of person who always loses their things, a non-removable retainer might be your safest bet if you don’t want to end up paying for a replacement. 

Cons

Oral Hygiene: Since the retainer isn’t removable, if you don’t put in the effort needed to maintain your oral hygiene, tartar and plaque may build up in your mouth over time-leading to problems like gum disease.

Possible Irritation: Having a retainer permanently attached to the back of your teeth may irritate your tongue, especially when it brushes against the metal wire.

They may be dislodged if you bite your front teeth into hard foods.

Hawley retainers ($450 per arch)

Hawley retainers are made of flexible stainless steel wire embedded in acrylic or plastic and shaped to perfectly fit the roof of your mouth or the curvature of your lower teeth. They are removable, with the metal wire going across the front teeth.

Pros

Adjustable: The retainer can be adjusted by your orthodontist to fit better or for any slight realignments that might be necessary later.

Durable: Due to the materials used, this retainer is rather durable and can last you for quite a while—as long as you take good care of it.

Cons

Affects speech: The Hawley retainer is likely to affect the way you speak—more so than other retainers. It might take some practice to get the hang of speaking with the retainer on.

Noticeable: Since the wire spans across the front of your teeth, Hawley retainers are fairly noticeable. It may not be an ideal choice for those who are self-conscious.

Clear plastic retainers ($350-400 per arch)

In Singapore, ceramic braces, Invisalign and clear braces are now popular options since they blend in with the teeth. If you had one of these on not too long ago, then removable clear plastic retainers may be up your alley.

With the most commonly known being the Essix retainer, the look of the retainer is similar to Invisalign—a thin, clear tray that’s molded to fit snugly over the teeth.

Pros

Less Obvious: Since the retainer is made of see-through plastic, it’s not so noticeable.

Doesn’t affect speech: The material is also more lightweight and less bulky as compared to the Hawley retainer, making it less likely to impede speech.

Cons

Less Durable: Since it’s made of plastic, exposure to heat may cause the material to warp, rendering it unusable. It may also crack or break when subject to undue pressure.

Discoloring: Over time, the food and drink you take may stain the retainer, causing it to discolour—and become more visible gradually.

Given how much braces cost in Singapore, you’d think that retainers might cost you a fair bit as well—but clearly, that isn’t the case. In Singapore, good orthodontists are aplenty, but choose well before making the trip there.

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