All About Retainers
Once your braces are off, the treatment doesn’t stop there. Unless you’d like to undo all the work your braces did on your smile, you’ll need to wear a retainer to hold your teeth in place for a while. Our patients typically will wear one of three types of retainers:
- Hawley Retainers: These removable retainers are stronger than other types and consist of wires and clasps that are embedded in a body of thick plastic. They are also adjustable and can be used to further refine your orthodontic treatment. Because you are in control of when you wear them, it is imperative that use them as directed to achieve the full benefit.
- Essix Retainers: Also removable, Essix retainers are clear and plastic like Invisaligners braces, and that makes them practically undetectable. They are vacuum formed from a mold of your teeth and are not adjustable.
- Fixed Retainers: These retainers are cemented to your teeth and are also known as permanent or bonded retainers. We usually will only use these on lower teeth and they consist of a wire attached to the back (tongue side) of the tooth. The patient cannot remove this retainer, thus making it difficult to brush and floss in that area.
Retainers are the best way to hold your teeth in place as the rest of your mouth stabilizes follow the removal of braces. A good rule of thumb is that you will wear your retainer for the same duration of time that you had your braces on. If you are wearing a removable type, it is important to take it out when you are eating and keep it in a safe place. If your retainer becomes lost or damaged, call us immediately so we can get you a replacement and keep your treatment on schedule.