Permanent vs. Removable Retainers—Which is best for you?

June 08, 2015

As you near the end of your time wearing braces, it’s time to start thinking about retainers. Retainers are the next step in your orthodontic plan and are necessary to enable your teeth to stay in their new positions. Not all retainers are created equal so how do you know which is right for you? Here are the three most popular types to help you with your decision:

davie dental retainer

dental retainers will help to keep your teeth straight after having braces removed

  • Hawley Retainers: When you need a strong and durable retainer, look no further than Hawley removable retainers. Wires and clasps are embedded in a body of thick plastic and can be adjusted to further refine your orthodontic treatment. Since you do have the ability to take them out when you need to, it is important that you follow the usage guidelines we provide you with to have the best outcome.


  • Essix Retainers: Also removable, Essix retainers are clear and plastic like Invisaligners braces. Since they are practically undetectable, you don’t need to worry about people noticing them when you are speaking or smiling. We custom fit them by vacuum forming them to your teeth and they cannot be adjusted.


  • 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.


Most of our patients usually opt for removable retainers due to the convenience they offer while eating and brushing, but if you choose them you also accept the responsibility of wearing them the prescribed amount of time. It is also important that you keep your retainers in the case when you aren’t wearing them to protect you from breaking or losing them.


When it’s time to remove your braces, we will discuss the retainer options available and help you decide on the best choice for your smile.

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