Retainer Wear is Essential to Maintain Alignment
To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces or Invisalign® treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment. All retainers are custom made and can be removable or fixed.
Types of Retainers
- Hawley retainers - Hawleys are what is traditionally thought of when one might think of orthodontic retainers. These retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth, which is attached to an acrylic arch that rests in the palate and/or lingual space. These wires may need to be adjusted overtime to improve the fit.
- Essix retainers - Essix are aligner-style retainers that look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to the Hawley retainers. Each of these clear retainers fits over the entire arch and are made from a custom model of your teeth.
- Vivera retainers - Similar in appearance to the essix retainers, Viveras are made by Invisalign®. The Invisalign® lab can make four sets of retainers (4 upper and 4 lower) from a single 3D digital impression. These are a great option for patients going away to school, patients anticipating frequent retainer replacement, etc. These retainers are also made of a thicker, more durable material than the essix.
- Bonded retainers - A bonded retainer, or fixed retainer is a wire bonded behind the front bottom and/or top teeth. These retainers may or may not be prescribed for your treatment.