What Retainer is Right for You?

woman identifies retainers that are right for her

If you would like to realign your teeth–or keep them aligned–there are a few different treatment options. One of those options is to use retainers. 

Retainers are normally used after braces have aligned your teeth, but they may also be used to adjust minor misalignments that have not been treated with braces in some cases. 

Retainers are custom-made dental products that keep your teeth in position. Which kind is right for you? Your dentist and orthodontist will likely have their own opinion, but you do have several choices. 

What Kinds of Retainers Are There?

There are three types of retainers available. These include:

  • Hawley retainers
  • Clear retainers
  • Permanent retainers

The kind of retainer you receive will depend on the recommendation from the orthodontist and how visible you’d like the retainer to be. 

What Are Hawley Retainers?

Hawley Retainers are made using clasps and wires that are embedded into a plastic body. The body covers the roof of the mouth on the upper arch (if used for the upper teeth) or lies under the tongue on the bottom. The clasps that are built into the retainer anchor onto specific teeth temporarily. Then, the wire that arches across helps snuggly push or pull the teeth into the correct positioning. 

What Are Clear Retainers?

Clear retainers are made of plastic. These fit over the teeth and may be worn during the day or at night. They are more discreet than other forms, making them good for people who don’t want their retainers to be obvious. 

What Are Permanent Retainers?

Permanent retainers are bonded to the backside of the front teeth. By being bonded, the teeth cannot be shifted out of place. With permanent retainers, you must go to an orthodontist to have one installed, adjusted, or removed. Permanent retainers cannot be seen from the front of the teeth, which is what makes them significantly different from traditional braces. 

What Kind of Retainer Should You Purchase?

It’s not simple to tell you which kind of retainer to use without knowing your dental history and seeing how likely it is for your teeth to shift out of place. Following treatment with braces, a custom-made retainer can be made for you to preserve the realignment. 

To decide which kind of retainer to get, you should talk to your orthodontist about concerns such as:

  • How often you can come back for readjustments
  • If you’re concerned about the appearance
  • If your teeth have already begun to shift out of alignment following the removal of your braces
  • How comfortable you feel sleeping with a removable retainer in place

If you had a retainer in the past that has started to feel tight, it could mean that your teeth are shifting already. In that case, a permanent retainer may help get them back into position before moving to a clear or removable metal retainer. 

If you don’t want your braces to show, then clear or permanent retainers may be a good option. If you want a retainer that you can take out at night or wear only during the night, then clear or Hawley retainers may be the best choice for you. Your orthodontist will talk to you about the benefits of each and if you can use all or any of these three retainer options.

Contact Ricci Orthodontics to Learn More about Retainers

There are plenty of options to help you keep your teeth straight and looking great. At Ricci Orthodontics, we want you to have the beautiful smile you want. We can help you by giving you many treatment options for correcting misaligned teeth so you get dazzling results. Contact us today at [direct], or contact us online to learn more about our retainers and other treatment options.

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