Invisible retainer and braces, orthodontia

Understanding Retainers: The Key to Maintaining Your Smile

Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon, and to maintain the result created by your orthodontic treatment, retainers must be worn. While small changes after treatment are normal, retainers prevent teeth from going back to their original positions.


Do I Need a Retainer?

Retainers are prescribed for two reasons:

  • To allow the bone that holds teeth to rebuild after teeth have moved
  • To maintain the healthy new positions of teeth after active orthodontic treatment ends 

Your body changes your whole life, including your teeth!

Wire retainers, also known as Hawley retainers, are made from a combination of an acrylic or hard plastic plate connected by a metal wire. Your orthodontist will mold the retainer to fit comfortably on the rood of your mouth while the wire goes against your teeth. One fun aspect of wire retainers is that the acrylic or plastic plate can come in a variety of colors, including tie dye. Plus, because it’s against the roof of your mouth, you don’t have to worry about it being visible even if yo do opt for a color retainer. 

A fixed retainer, also known as a bonded or lingual retainer, consist of a thing, custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of upper or lower teeth.

Clear Retainer are removable plastic trays that patients wear following orthodontic treatment to maintain their results. 


Explore our FAQ page for solutions to frequently asked questions.


Authored by AAO info
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