For most patients, treatment is divided into two stages: active treatment and retention. Active treatment is when braces or other appliances are being worn and the teeth are still progressing to their desired locations. Retention is when the teeth are where they should be and need help staying in place, ensuring they do not regress back to their original spots. For this, retainers are used.
Types of Retainers
There are several types of retainers available. You can discuss the options with the doctor to determine which is right for you. We offer the following types of retainers:
- Wire retainers: These removable retainers feature a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and attaches to an acrylic arch that fits into the roof of the mouth.
- Aligner retainers: These are also removable retainers, but instead of wires, they use clear, medical-grade plastic to hold the teeth in place.
- Fixed retainers: These are wires that are bonded to the backs of the teeth. They may be used for just a few years or can stay in place for life.
Which Is Best?
There is no single retainer type that is best for everyone. Some may need removable retainers because they want to have an easier time eating, brushing, and flossing. Others may like the idea of a fixed retainer since there is less to remember. Ultimately, it is a personal decision to be made with the input of your doctor.