Every patient with braces looks forward to the day they’ll have their braces come off. But, once you’ve had your braces removed, you may still need to wear a retainer for a certain period. It's intended to hold your teeth in place while keeping your gums and jaw in their new position.
Here are the different types of retainers you can choose from:
Permanent Bonded Retainer
This retainer stays in your mouth at all times as it's bonded with glue to the back of your teeth. Permanent retainers are placed behind the six front lower teeth. In some cases, an orthodontist may at first use this type of retainer and then switch to an Essix or Hawley retainer after six months. To properly care for your teeth while having this retainer, you’ll have to use a threader floss.
Made from molded clear plastic, this type of retainer resembles an Invisalign aligner. Most people prefer this type of retainer as its less noticeable. Nonetheless, Essix retainers do not allow your top and bottom teeth to touch naturally. In addition, it may wear out after a few years and may need to be replaced.
Made from bendable wire and plastic or acrylic, this type of retainer has a wire that goes across your front teeth. The acrylic is molded to ensure that it fits perfectly in your mouth. You can get Hawley retainers in various styles and colors. Another great advantage is that you can tweak your teeth after the braces come off. Moreover, they can last a long time with proper care.
These ones are similar to clear retainers; the only difference is that they are made from Invisalign. Patients who used Invisalign can use these retainers as an orthodontist can easily fabricate the retainer from a previous Invisalign aligner.
Keep in mind that the use of retainers is an important part of the continuing maintenance of your teeth. With thorough research, you can make the right decisions.