Types of Retainers
Popular, thin, comfortable, and inexpensive.
We provide clear retainers for the majority of our patients at the end of their treatment. They are thin, transparent trays that fit directly over the teeth, closely resembling an Invisalign® aligner. Clear retainers are inexpensive, convenient, and virtually invisible when worn, which makes them a popular choice for our adult orthodontic patients. Always remember to brush your retainer anytime you take it out of your mouth or before putting it in.
Removeable Hawley Retainers
The old standby (and still effective), they’re what you picture when someone says “retainer.”
The Hawley retainer is composed of a molded piece of acrylic, cast to match the contours of your mouth, with an array of metal wires protruding from it designed to hold the teeth in place. It’s the most common option for retention and likely what first comes to mind when you think of the word “retainer.”
Hawleys are convenient, removable, and effective, but you’ll need to always remember to brush your retainer anytime you take it out of your mouth or before putting it in.
Great choice when we need a more stable retention option.
Bonded retainers, also called fixed retainers, are usually used for patients who have a high risk of tooth regression. These retainers are made from a single metal wire that’s cemented directly to the teeth, usually running across the backside of the lower front teeth.
Fixed retainers are convenient and highly effective in that they stay in all the time, but you will need a floss threader to properly perform oral hygiene. If your bonded retainer ever does start to come loose, simply contact our office to schedule a repair appointment.
Bonded retainers will always require the use of clear retainers too, as they only hold the front 4-6 teeth. Not everyone is a candidate for a bonded retainer, so count on us to help advise you of your options.