Retainers help to keep your teeth straight. If you don’t wear them, your teeth can become crooked. Retainers come in all shapes and sizes.
1. Clear plastic retainer
These are removable retainers that are molded to fit the teeth perfectly into new positions. They are also known as molded retainers.
2. Hawley retainer
Hawley retainers are a form of orthodontic retainer that uses a combination of hard plastic or acrylic plates connected by thin metal wires.
How often should I wear my retainer?
Normally every night, but follow your orthodontist’s advice. Remember, to keep your teeth straight, you should wear your retainers as instructed for life.
Some patients will be provided with bonded retainers. These are glued to the back of the top or bottom teeth. It is important to keep the teeth and gums clean around the bonded retainer wire. If the wire breaks or becomes loose, make sure to speak to your orthodontist or dentist.
Taking care of your teeth and retainers
- Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. Make sure you remove your retainers when brushing.
- Use fluoride toothpaste when brushing your teeth.
- Clean your removable retainers with a toothbrush, soap, and cold water.
- Keep your removable retainers in a plastic container when you are not wearing them.
- Remember to take your retainers on all of your travels.
Your orthodontist will usually review you for 12 months. Don’t forget to take your retainers to your appointments. Also, continue to have regular check-ups with your normal dentist. When your orthodontist discharges you, see your normal dentist for any problems with your retainers.
What if I lose or break my removable retainers?
Contact your orthodontist or dentist as soon as possible. If left too long, your teeth will begin to move.