Retainer Types & Cleaning

After receiving an orthodontic treatment, it is possible for your teeth to move out of place again if there is not something to prevent them from shifting. To keep your smile straight, Dr. Payam Bostani may provide you with a retainer that fits your new bite. By wearing your retainer as directed, you can keep your new smile looking great throughout your life.

For more information about orthodontic retainers in Burbank, California, contact our office at 818-975-3572 today.

A retainer is a custom-made oral appliance often used to maintain the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. If you have finished your orthodontic treatment, such as braces, our dentist may recommend a retainer to keep your smile properly aligned.

How Orthodontic Retainers Work

As you age, your teeth tend to shift; the retainer ensures that your teeth remain in correct alignment for optimal oral health, functionality, and appearance.

There are three main types of retainers available:

  • Removeable Hawley retainers consist of wires and clasps embedded in a plastic body that covers the roof of the mouth (for the upper arch) or lies along the tongue side of the teeth (for the lower arch). The clasps fit around certain teeth to anchor the retainer in place, while the wire arches across the front of the teeth to maintain their alignment. Hawley retainers are quite durable, can be tightened or repaired, and over time allow your bite to settle into a natural, comfortable position.
  • Clear retainers are made of clear plastic and fit snugly over the teeth. A clear retainer is usually more discreet than a Hawley retainer, although it may not be as durable. Clear retainers are removeable , and thus can be misplaced, but they are less expensive to replace than Hawley retainers, and have the added benefit of protecting your teeth from wear due to grinding.
  • Fixed retainers, also called bonded or permanent retainers, are permanently attached to the backside of the front teeth. This prevents the teeth from shifting out of place, and it can only be removed by your dentist. Because of this, they can’t be lost and can last for years if properly maintained.

Advice for Wearing Removeable Retainers

  • Keep wearing your retainer until your orthodontist tells you to stop
  • Always remove your retainer while eating and keep it in its case
  • Clean your retainer daily using your toothbrush and warm water
  • Give yourself time to get used to your retainer by speaking, reading, and even singing out loud
  • Call us if you feel like your retainer does not fit your mouth anymore. Don’t try and adjust it yourself
  • Bring your retainer to any dentist and orthodontist appointments
  • Take out your retainer if you go swimming
  • Keep your retainer away from heat such as your washing machine or leaving it on your dashboard

Our dentist will help you determine whether you need a retainer after your orthodontic treatment. For more information, we welcome you to contact us today!