The Different Types of Retainers After Braces or Invisalign

The Different Types of Retainers After Braces or Invisalign
Posted on 10/15/2020

You’ve completed your traditional braces or your Invisalign orthodontic treatment and now what? You may think that your orthodontic journey ends here, but think again! In order to ensure that your orthodontist Dr. Bart Iwasiuk's work is preserved and your new beautiful smile doesn’t become misaligned again, you’ll need to wear a dental retainer. What exactly is a retainer, you ask? Retainers are dental appliances which have been designed to help your teeth hold their new position. They assist your teeth until their roots have cemented within their new position and your gums and dental tissue have fully healed, also grabbing ahold of your teeth’s new position.

Which Type of Retainer Is Right for You?

There are actually three different types of retainers out in the market right now. They are all very effective, but are actually designed for various types of smiles. Your smile is one-of-a-kind—so why shouldn’t the retainer you wear be selected based on your individual needs? Typically, we’ll sit down with our patients and explain the differences between the Hawley retainer, a clear plastic retainer, and a fixed retainer. The following is a brief description of each retainer:

  • Hawley Retainer – this type of retainer is the most commonly recognized. The Hawley retainer is a non-fixed appliance (this simply means that it can be removed), which is made up of a plastic mold of the roof and the bottom of your mouth as well as a metal wire that curves and wraps around the outside of your teeth. Depending on your unique smile, your orthodontist will give you an estimate on how long you’ll need to keep wearing this appliance.
  • Clear Plastic Retainer – this type of retainer is for those who wish to keep their orthodontic treatment discreet. Probably most commonly followed by an Invisalign treatment (though this is not a necessary precursor), this appliance is also a non-fixed appliance that can be taken out during meals. Keep in mind that, like Invisalign aligners, these retainers require special care in order to maintain their clarity.
  • Fixed Retainer – this type of retainer is also inconspicuous! It’s similar to the Hawley retainer in that it’s designed similarly (with plastic and metal wire components), but it has two very different characteristics. Firstly, it is a fixed appliance. This means that, unlike the other retainers mentioned above, this retainer cannot be removed until your orthodontist declares your treatment complete and removes it himself at one of our Discover Orthodontics locations. Secondly, instead of having exposed wires on the outside of your teeth, this retainer’s wires can be found on the inside part of your teeth!

Schedule A Consultation with Dr. Iwasiuk To Find Out More!

If you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment or are close to completing it and are unsure of which retainer is best suited for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Iwasiuk. He’ll be able to advise you on the best course of action following your braces or Invisalign treatment. You can schedule a virtual consultation or you can set up an appointment via phone by calling our Brampton Office at 905-846-7846 or our Burlington Office at 905-319-8440. Our warm and knowledgeable staff will be able to assist you with this or any other questions you have. We hope to hear from you soon!