What are dental retainers for?
Dental retainers are custom devices that hold the new position of your teeth. As we get older, our teeth naturally shift. Retainers protect against this shift, keeping the current positioning of your teeth and maintaining the alignment your braces created. They also protect your oral health. If you’ve received orthodontic treatment to correct an over- or underbite, your retainer keeps that work intact.
You can use your dental retainer for many years. We recommend that our patients use them indefinitely. Otherwise, you may pop in your retainer after a long break to find your teeth have shifted and you can’t even fit it in your mouth.
Essix retainers can be used after traditional or Invisalign treatment. These clear retainers fit over your teeth tightly, keeping everything in the correct place. Essix uses the same materials as Invisalign aligners, so it’s a comfortable option.
Hawley retainers have a more traditional look, with wires coming off of a plastic body that covers the top arch of the mouth. The wire comes down and fits around the teeth, with clasps functioning as anchors on certain teeth. The wires go across the front of the teeth to keep them in place.
Fixed retainers are bonded to the back of the front teeth, providing a permanent solution that keeps the teeth in place.