What to Know About Retainers

Published on May 12th, 2020

Now that you’ve already had braces or Invisalign, you have the smile that you’ve always wanted! Unfortunately, just because you have a straight smile now doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. Our orthodontist in Highland Park has helped straighten thousands of smiles, but in order for them to stay straight, retainers are necessary. It’s only natural for our faces, including our mouths, to change as we age. Wearing your retainer nightly for a handful of months won’t result in a smile that’s straight forever.

Types of Retainers

There are different types of retainers to help your teeth stay in their newly straight position. One popular option is clear retainers. Clear retainers are made from either plastic or polyurethane and are generally worn during the nighttime. They fit comfortably and snugly over your teeth and they also prevent grinding at night. However, it’s important to note that this type of retainer may become easily stained if a colored beverage is consumed. Stick to only drinking water when you’re wearing this type of retainer.

Hawley Wire Retainers

Another common retainer is called the Hawley wire retainer which has a base made of plastic or acrylic and it has a metal wire that goes over the teeth to keep them in place. The base of the retainer sits on the roof or floor of your mouth. This type of retainer is also worn during the nighttime.

Fixed Retainers

The last type of retainer is a fixed retainer that is permanently glued to the back of your teeth. The wire itself is typically made from titanium, copper, nickel, or a combination of those materials. This type of retainer is meant to last a lifetime although replacements are sometimes necessary.

Which is Best for You?

Each retainer has its own pros and cons. Talking with our orthodontist in Highland Park is a great starting point to determine what retainer is best for you. Please reach out to us at Lippitz Orthodontics to learn more about the importance of retainers.

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