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Your braces represent a serious investment in realigning your teeth for a fully functional mouth and an appealing smile. Even once your braces are removed your teeth are prone to a process known as relapse. When this happens the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth try to pull them back into their old alignment. Your retainer helps to hold the teeth in place, thus cementing your new smile for many years to come.

There are three different types of retainers. Your orthodontist will recommend which one is best for you.

A Hawley retainer is made from a molded acrylic material. It is a thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic custom fitted to the shape of your mouth. The piece includes a wire that helps to hold your teeth in position. This is the most common style of retainer.

Clear plastic retainers are very similar to clear plastic aligners like Invisalign and Clear Correct. These retainers are made from a durable plastic that custom matches your teeth and bite pattern. These retainers are popular with adults because they aren’t as noticeable to the casual observer. Be sure to let your orthodontist know if you are prone to grinding your teeth as it can damage this style of retainer.

A fixed retainer is a durable wire retainer that is cemented in place behind the teeth. They are most common for people who required a great deal of realignment in their lower teeth. Interdental brushes and dental water jets are handy tools for cleaning around these retainers.

If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about what type of retainer is right for you please call us at 626.579.4274 to schedule an appointment.