Types of Retainers

The retention stage of orthodontics requires you to wear an orthodontic appliance called a retainer to keep your teeth in their new position. If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth will start moving back to their original positions. Hence, it’s essential that you wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist.

However, the type of orthodontic retainer and how long you need to wear them will be according to your specific need and situation.

What Are The Different Types Of Orthodontic Retainers?

Retainers are available in different kinds from removable to fixed, but there are three basic types of retainers available today each of which works best in a particular situation.

cleaning invisalign trays

Hawley Retainer

The Hawley Retainer is one of the most trusted types of retainers used in post-orthodontic treatments. It is a thin-tongue shaped piece of acrylic molded to fit your mouth with a wire that holds your teeth in position. The wire sits against the six front teeth with loops near the canines to make minor adjustments as teeth settle into place. The Hawley retainer is a simple, durable and a removable appliance and can be personalized by choosing different colors and designs for the plastic arch.

Essix Clear Aligner Retainer

This is another popular type of retainer which looks similar to the invisalign tray system. Essix retainers are custom-made of thin transparent plastic, which is designed to fit precisely and cover all of your teeth. These retainers move your teeth with constant pressure guiding them into a position where the upper and lower sets are even, straight and aligned with one another. These are less durable than Hawley but easily removable. Aesthetically they are the best choice due to its invisibility but not recommended for patients with specific conditions like teeth grinding.

Fixed or Bonded Retainer

As the name implies, these retainers are fixed and cannot be removed by the wearer and they aren’t visible either. It is basically a metal wire that is bonded to the back of the teeth. This is the less recommended type of retainer mostly for the lower teeth and occasionally for upper teeth but specifically these are used for the patients who can’t comply with wearing a removable retainer or when there’s a high risk teeth could revert to their former position.

How To Maintain And Retain Your RETAINER

To make your retainer work successfully it is necessary that you maintain your retainers as per the guided instructions by your orthodontist.

  • You are required to wear retainers all the time including during sleep unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • Do not wear your retainers during eating but wear them as soon as you finish eating.
  • Carefully and gently brush your retainer with a toothbrush, toothpaste and running water. You may also keep them soaked each day for a few minutes in a mixture of Listerine and water.
cleaning invisalign trays
  • Always keep your retainers in its case when not in use.
  • Do not expose your retainer to excess heat by washing it in very hot water or leaving it on a heater: That can cause the retainer to warp and make it unusable.
  • Avoid flipping or playing with the retainer with your tongue.

By taking proper care of your retainers and a conscientious use, retainers can quickly help you transition from braces to a permanent beautiful and healthy smile.

Getting Ready To Wear Retainers

At Orthodontic Experts of Colorado, retention treatment usually takes place on the same day the braces are removed. Your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and a set of x-rays or bite impressions are taken to check how well the braces worked and the development of your wisdom teeth. Once the results are satisfactory, we discuss the different types and the need for retainers with you and start getting the retainer ready to complete the process of your orthodontic treatment.

Call us now or send an email to discuss your orthodontic requirements.