Understanding the Benefits of Retainers

Retainers are most often used following orthodontal treatment, such as braces. Retainers, as the name implies, help to ‘retain’ the proper position of the jaw and teeth from misaligning or crowding. There are various types of retainers, from removable to permanent options.

Wearing your retainer properly is the key to preserving your dental work and maintaining your brand-new, beautiful smile.

We’ve provided a retainer overview below!

Removable Hawley wire retainers

These retainers feature custom molded plastic frames, which use simple wires to hold the frame around your teeth. They’re unobtrusive, compared to braces: often, the only visible part is a small wire around the front of your teeth.

Hawley wire retainers can be repaired or adjusted. Some may feature small blocks at the end, which can fix jaw alignment issues like overbites or underbites. This is a painless, easy way to help your bite settle into the right position over time.

This type of retainer can last for years, is easy to clean and can even be customized with different colors, logos and designs. They do not protect against teeth grinding, and sometimes their bulky shape can be difficult to get used to. However, most people find them a welcome solution after braces.

Removable clear plastic retainers

These retainers are nearly invisible, and hold your teeth in an exact position. Unlike Hawley wire retainers, they do protect against teeth grinding: the clear plastic fits over the entire tooth, to the gum line.

Clear, plastic retainers are often opted for by people who want an invisible look. For example, adults in public-facing positions may decide this type of retainer is best for maintaining a professional appearance. Clear retainers are easier to misplace/lose simply because they are clear— so you may have to replace them more so than a Hawley retainer.

Bonded permanent retainers

Finally, permanent retainers are often used for people who had large spaces between their teeth, significant crowding, or rotation. These consist of small wires, permanently bonded to the back of the teeth.

Permanent retainers are nearly impossible to lose: you do not remove them for cleaning. Bonded retainers do not protect against teeth grinding, and they can collect plaque. Staying atop of your dental hygiene routine is very important if a bonded permanent retainer is recommended.

If your bonded permanent retainer breaks or comes off, you’ll need to contact Fioritto Family Dental as soon as possible since teeth can quickly shift.

If you have questions about retainer options, retainer care and orthodontal treatment, call Fioritto Family Dental. We’ll help you understand your treatment options, including how to keep your smile aligned and healthy.