Although it may seem hard to believe during the process, one day those braces will come off. It’s an exciting day, but orthodontic treatment doesn’t end after braces, however. To maintain your straight, shiny new smile you must wear a retainer as directed after your braces are removed.
Remember that while braces straighten teeth, retainers KEEP them straight. They are an essential part of your orthodontic treatment. So, what kinds of retainers do you have to choose from after braces?
Your Orthodontist Will Help Find the Retainer That Suits You Best
Choosing which type of retainer is right for you can depend on how your orthodontic treatment went, your level of oral hygiene, whether or not you grind your teeth, your personal preference, etc. Depending on your unique situation, your orthodontist will recommend the type of retainer that will be best for you and your lifestyle.
If you know what type of retainer you would like to try, then talk to your orthodontist and ask them if it is a good option for you. They might say yes or they might suggest a different retainer.
No matter what type of retainer you get, oral hygiene is essential. Cleaning your retainer will extend its life and in turn, keep your teeth and mouth cleaner. And, of course, brush your teeth frequently to keep your smile looking its best.
Retainers Come in Three Basic Types
There are several different types of retainers to choose from. Here are the three most popular:
The Hawley Retainer
This is the most popular type of retainer and definitely the most durable. The Hawley retainer has an acrylic body with a metal wire that goes around the teeth. It is removable and can be adjusted if minor tooth movements are necessary.
The Essix Retainer
Another type of removable retainer, the Essix looks more like an Invisalign tray than a traditional retainer. It is made of thin, transparent plastic designed to fit precisely over your teeth. People love the Essix retainer because it is not as visible as the Hawley and has no wires.
The Fixed Retainer
This virtually invisible retainer consists of a small wire bonded to the inside, or tongue side, of the lower and sometimes upper front teeth. Since permanent retainers cannot be removed on a regular basis, wearers of this type of retainer need to be consistent in their oral hygiene routine, brushing, and flossing regularly.
Whatever type of retainer you choose, the most important thing you can do is wear it as directed by your orthodontist and clean it regularly!
Keep Your Smile Straight After Braces
By wearing your retainer, you can make the transition from braces to a permanent, healthy smile! Braces are the important first step, and retainers are the necessary follow up.
Hansen Orthodontics is an orthodontic office in the Las Vegas area. If you have any questions about the kinds of retainers we offer or how to maintain them, give us a call or come in to see us. We’re always excited to see our amazing patients.