The months of wearing braces have finally paid off! You will be able to access your teeth to easily brush, floss and eat without stress. However, just because your braces have been removed, doesn’t mean your treatment is over. Orthodontic retention is paramount to maintaining your beautiful smile, and protecting your investment! Ensuring years of a beautiful smile, by wearing your retainer, it’s well worth it! 
A dental retainer is a custom-made orthodontic appliance used to keep teeth in place after your braces are removed. Once your braces come off, your teeth need to be stable to allow the soft issue and bone to remodel to their new positions. The ligaments and bone holding your teeth will need to tighten and strengthen around the roots of each tooth. Made with acrylic, plastic and or wire, retainers keep your teeth from shifting and wasting the money, time and effort you have invested in orthodontic treatment!

What’s Your Type?

There are two types of orthodontic retainers: fixed and removable. Removable retainers can be taken off to eat or brush. They will be worn full time for about a year, and then worn only at night once your orthodontist determines the appropriate change in wear. The removable retainer requires discipline to maintain your tooth alignment but don’t worry, as it’s easily mastered. Fixed retainers are permanently bonded to your teeth. They require special attention to clean around and protect, and should only be removed by your dentist. When deciding on which retainer best suits your needs, your orthodontist will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and help decided which is best for you.

Hawleys Retainer

Hawley Retainers  - Are the most common type of removable dental retainers. Consisting of plastic, the Hawley retainer adheres to the shape of your soft tissue and teeth. Wires are embedded into the plastic that closely wrap around your teeth, keeping the retainer and your teeth in place. This type of retainer can be adjusted as needed to fit tighter to the teeth, and with normal care and handling last a considerable length of time.

Essix Retainer

Essix Retainers – Another removable retainer is the vacuum formed or “Essix” retainer, made of clear plastic. Some patients prefer this retainer because most people can't tell you're wearing one, and they can generally be fabricated quickly.

Bonded Retainer

Bonded Retainers -- Often called fixed or permanent retainers, these consist of wire or small metallic chain, bonded to the back of your teeth to keep them in place. Caution and care must be observed in watching what foods are eaten to prevent bond failure to one or more teeth. Special attention is also required to ensure proper hygiene is maintained to prevent decay and periodontitis.