What Are The Available Orthodontic Retainer Options?


After completing your braces treatment, a retainer is used to maintain and hold your teeth in their original position. It prevents them from moving back to the previous position once your braces are removed. They are custom-made for each individual and are very important in ensuring their smile looks as good as it did when they got their braces off.

A retainer is made by taking an impression of one’s teeth, which is then used to create a mold or plaster replica of their exact alignment and shape. Depending on the type of option the doctor recommends and the time it takes to make a retainer, one can get their retainers made in the office in 30 minutes, or a mold can be sent to a laboratory for testing.

Types of Retainers

There are various types of orthodontic retainer options that a doctor can recommend to meet the varying needs of each individual. He will discuss the options with you before your braces are removed to ensure you get the best possible fit.

Bonded or Fixed Retainers

The doctor must create a fixed or bonded retainer using a thin wire that goes back to the teeth’s anterior region. These are fixed retainers since the patient can’t remove them. They are trendy among parents and patients as they can keep their teeth in their original position and are aesthetically pleasing. However, they can be more work to maintain and care for.

Unlike fixed braces, which the doctor can remove, a bonded retainer only holds the front four or six teeth. Any width created during the treatment can get lost to decay. Patients must regularly brush and floss their retainers to keep their teeth clean. Some patients are not candidates for bonded retainers due to how their bite fits together. If the lower teeth are too close to the top teeth when they bite down, this can damage the bonded retainer.

Hawley Retainers

These types of orthodontic retainer options were typically used for orthodontic care. The plaster mold of your teeth is then sent to a laboratory, where they are molded into a retainer using acrylic material and a wire. Although they are similar in appearance to clear retainers, the cost of a replacement for a Hawley retainer will be higher due to the lab fee.

Clear Retainers

We provide clear retainers, the most requested type of retainers by patients. These are made in our office the day after your teeth is removed. Unlike traditional retainers, this plastic material is vacuum-formed to the plaster mold of your teeth and is less noticeable. Clear retainers can get replaced in just 30 minutes, which is significantly faster than traditional options. What makes it the people’s favorite is that it is hardly noticeable when worn by the patient at any time.

If you have a broken or lost retainer, immediately contact us to schedule an appointment so that we can repair or replace it. The longer you go without one, the more likely it is that you will experience a relapse. Unfortunately, the mold gets distorted during the process of making both Hawley and clear retainers, so we can’t keep previous ones in our office.