Types of Retainers and How to Choose the Right One For You

At Dream Smiles, we are focused on every dental aspect of helping you achieve straight teeth and a stronger smile. We help our patients choose the right type of braces for them, whether it’s Invisalign or lingual braces. Braces are important if you want to solve any tooth alignment issues, which actually have an impact on your ability to chew, teeth grinding, and our oral health in general. After you have successfully completed your treatment with braces, your orthodontist will put you into retainers, which will ensure that the work your braces did, and the straightening they did to your teeth will remain in place. Your teeth need to be stabilized, and the retainer is a simple fixture that can help with that. It takes a few months for the new alignment and position of your teeth to become permanent, and retainers are the secondary stage of treatment.

What Are Retainers For?

Dental retainers are like a specialized mouthguard that you fit onto your teeth, and on your gums. When teeth get into a new position, and are realigned by braces, retainers are used to hold them in place. They are custom made by your orthodontist.

After your braces have been removed, you will be required to wear the retainer for another 12 months, probably 4-6 months wearing them around the clock, and then eventually you will have to wear them at night.

When it comes to retainers, there are a few options you can choose from, and here at Dream Smiles, we will help you determine the best ones for you based on your lifestyle and the goal you have. Let’s have a look at our retainers and see which the best option for you!

Wire Retainers

Wire retainers are also known as Hawley retainers, and are made out of plastic and acrylic with metal. They are removable, adjustable, and durable. For some people, the main downside of wire retainers is that the wire part of it is visible in front of your teeth.

Fixed or Bonded Retainer

Lingual retainers are more permanent because they are bonded to the back of your teeth. They are fixed into your mouth and stay on indefinitely. The upsides of fixed retainers is that they aren’t visible and they are great for someone who might struggle to keep up with the instructions of wearing removable retainers. The downside is that you might experience more plaque buildup which could lead to gum disease.

Clear Retainers

Clear retainers look a lot like a mouthguard that fits over your teeth, and as the name suggests they are completely transparent. They are meant to look invisible, and are great if you don’t want the retainer to be seen in front of your teeth. The advantages of this type of retainer is that you won’t notice them as much and you will feel like you’re just wearing a mouthguard over your teeth.

Permanent Retainers vs. Removable

Besides the materials they are made from, one thing that differs with types of retainers are whether or not they are permanent or removable. Removable retainers are great because you can remove them to eat and clean your teeth so there won’t be any plaque buildup. On the other hand permanent retainers stay in place for longer, so the teeth are more likely to stay stable for longer. In order to make the right choice, discussing with your orthodontist is key.

Are you interested in having a straight, healthy smile? For more information on our adult orthodontic treatments, or to make an appointment with us, please click here.