With several options, how do you choose the right retainer for you?
Getting your braces off is exciting, but it’s not the end of your orthodontic treatment. You must still choose a retainer to ensure that your teeth remain in their new position. Although up to 90 percent of the movement of your teeth occurs with braces, wearing a retainer is necessary to complete the shifting.
Types of Retainers
Retainers come in three basic types, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. These include:
- Essix Retainers: You will recognize the clear plastic material if you wore Invisalign braces. Although they are nearly invisible to others and easy to remove, Essix retainers are less durable than other types. They can also be more challenging to clean.
- Hawley Retainers: This type is plastic or acrylic with bendable wire. It goes into your mouth and slides out quite easily. If you find that your Hawley retainer doesn’t fit right or is not as comfortable as you hoped, Dr. Schmitt can adjust it as necessary. The one disadvantage is that it’s easy for others to see.
- Permanent Bonded Retainers: This is a good option if there’s any chance your teeth will shift back towards their former position. Dr. Schmitt bonds it to the back of your teeth where it remains permanently out of view.
Another thing to consider is that you need to clean your retainer often. To choose the right type of retainer, you need to know how often you wear it, the type of retainer, and any special oral health challenges such as frequent plaque build-up. Additionally, Invisalign makes its own retainer under the brand name Vivera. If you’re accustomed to wearing Invisalign aligners, this could be the perfect solution.
Feel free to schedule an appointment if you’re getting to the end of your orthodontic treatment and would like additional input into retainers.