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Even if you’ve been to the orthodontist, you may not know much about the unsung heroes of orthodontics: retainers! If you’ve recently bid farewell to your braces and are eager to maintain that beautifully aligned smile, then you’re in the right place. Retainers are the silent guardians of your dental journey, ensuring that your teeth stay in their newfound perfect positions long after the braces come off. 

Let’s explore the various types of retainers available, each with its own unique features and benefits, all aimed at helping you maintain that lasting smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve. After your journey with braces at Okuda & Noorda Orthodontics, it’s essential to maintain that perfect smile. We’re here to help you learn how each type contributes to long-term dental health and aesthetics, ensuring your smile stays as vibrant and straight as the day your braces came off.

What Are the Different Types of Retainers Available?

There are many different types of retainers available for patients who have recently removed their braces. However, there are three types of retainers that are the most used and available to patients and orthodontists, which include:

1. Removable Hawley Wire Retainers

Hawley wire retainers are made of pieces of wire connected to a custom mold of the palette of the patient’s mouth. 

Hawley retainers last a long time, can be tightened and repaired for even more long-term use, and can eventually become more comfortable over time. Your Hawley retainer may become more comfortable with wear, settling into a position that feels more natural in your mouth. These retainers can also come in fun colors and designs.

However, Hawley retainers may not be the top choice for every patient. These are more visible than some options, as you can often see the wire in front of the teeth. They can also be lost, broken, or expensive to replace. Although durable, these retainers do not prevent grinding, and teeth may slightly shift.

2. Removable Clear Plastic Retainers

Removable clear retainers are made to custom fit the patient’s teeth, holding them in place in the same position as the braces left them. They can also protect against grinding, are nearly invisible, and less expensive to replace than some other retainers. 

Unfortunately, removable clear plastic retainers, while nearly invisible, do not last as long as other types and may be easier to lose due to their clarity. However, this does make them a strong, cosmetically appealing option for some patients.

3. Bonded Permanent Retainers

Bonded permanent retainers are made of metal wires, attached to the back of the teeth with a special bonding glue or agent. They are generally placed behind four to six of the lower front teeth, but they may also be placed on the upper teeth in some cases.

With good care, these retainers can last up to 20 years. They cannot be lost or easily removed since they are permanently bonded to the teeth.

Bonded retainers can still be broken, so you must be careful with them should you choose to utilize them. Avoid hard or crunchy foods that could damage your permanent retainers. They can also be more difficult to clean, and bonded retainers may also make it tougher to brush and floss your teeth in certain areas.

Your orthodontist may also recommend you use a plastic retainer, in conjunction with your bonded retainer. This may be a permanent solution for some patients, while some individuals will benefit from only wearing a removable plastic retainer for a few months before exclusively using a bonded retainer.

Questions? Want Help With Your Orthodontic Care? Contact Okuda & Noorda Orthodontics Today

Keep your smile shining long after your braces come off with the right retainer. At Okuda & Noorda Orthodontics, we provide personalized retainer options to fit your unique smile and lifestyle. Whether you choose a Hawley retainer for its durability or prefer the aesthetic appeal of a clear retainer, our team is here to guide you through your choices. Don’t let your orthodontic journey go to waste; secure your investment in a beautiful smile with a retainer that suits you best.

Ready to find out more about your retainer options? Contact us at (702) 737-5500 or through our contact form. Our friendly team is eager to assist you in maintaining that perfect smile. Schedule your consultation today and ensure your teeth remain perfectly aligned for years to come. Let us help you maintain a confident, perfect smile!

Dr. Okuda

Author Dr. Okuda

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