Types of teeth retainers
There are various dental retainers available for orthodontic retention. Some options are fixed, staying in your mouth permanently until professional removal, while others can slip on and off. The most common retainers are:
- Hawley: Hawley retainers consist of metal wires and clasps and a plastic body. The plastic portion stations the retainer against the roof of your mouth or below your tongue, while the attached metal sections fit around your teeth to keep them in place.
- Essix: Essix retainers are clear options that fit snugly over your teeth. These discreet, removable plastic devices resemble Invisalign® braces.
- Fixed: This permanent orthodontic retention device can only be removed by a dental professional. Your orthodontist will cement this retainer behind your front teeth to ensure they stay still.
How to care for your retainer
Continuous maintenance is critical to keeping your retainer clean and extending its life span. Some care tips for cleaning your removable retainer include:
- Clean your device regularly: Preventing bacteria buildup on your device will help keep your breath fresh and your mouth healthy.
- Use safe cleaning solutions: Brushing your retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste can create divots that hold bacteria. Instead, rinse your appliance with water and use substances such as white vinegar and baking soda. You can also have your orthodontist clean your retainer.
- Keep your retainer moist: Retainers are porous, so drying them out may shorten their usability. Consider storing your device in distilled water when you’re not wearing it to help it last longer.
If you have a fixed retainer, ensure you regularly brush and floss it. Also, use an oral irrigator to remove any stubborn food pieces.
Why should you choose Groves Orthodontics?
Groves Orthodontics offers a personalized experience and staff members who want to help you achieve the best smile. Dr. Ron Groves, our sole orthodontist, believes that immersive care is important. To reach this goal, he serves all patients at one location. With over 20 years of orthodontic experience, he knows how to help you achieve your smile goals.