Retainers are super important to your Orthodontic treatment! When you are done with your treatment everyone gets a retainer. Lets talk about some different types of retainers.
These retainers are glued in your mouth. You do not need to think about them daily and are overall pretty nice. They make brushing and flossing a little more difficult and there are no health side effects to them as long as you can keep your teeth clean. So that is great. Normally they are glued on your tongue side on the top if you started with a space between your two front teeth, and routinely on the lower normally canine to canine. The downside to these retainers is they can break! Breakage is a huge issue. Some people have great experiences with fixed retainers and that is great. Every week I see a broken fixed retainer that has been placed somewhere and they come to me for an emergency. They last 1, 2, 5, 10 years maybe longer, but anything glued in your mouth will break at some point. Some people catch it and when it breaks they know right away and we can repair it and keep your teeth perfectly straight. A lot of times people only know the fixed retainer is broken because their tooth has moved and they want to know why. Then this becomes an issue because in order to get your teeth back to where you want them you need to get some sort of orthodontic treatment again. I want to avoid ever having you back in Braces or Clear aligners!
These are my favorite type of retainer. They are clear retainers that are suction molded around your teeth in the perfect position. You wear them at night while you sleep and that is enough to keep your teeth in the ideal spot. The great thing is if you forget to wear your retainer for a few nights and your teeth move you can pop these back in and they can get your teeth back to where you want them! This is fantastic and a huge bonus. A big downside is you need to remember to wear them every night. There are some good and bad things about each option!
Hawley or traditional retainers I still use but is case dependent. People often dislike the fit and comfort of these vs clear essix retainers. They are a bit bulkier and they can not get your teeth back to where they belong if you do not wear them for a few days. But they do a great job at letting teeth come together and touch naturally without having any plastic between your teeth.
Which type of retainer is a discussion and we will figure out what is best for you. Often if someone wants a fixed retainer I will do both a fixed and a clear essix retainer. That way you know if you are wearing your retainer nightly and when the fixed retainer breaks you have a backup! you can get the fixed retainer taken out and continue to wear your clear essix retainer that was made when you finished treatment!