Gaiduchik Orthodontics

Understanding the Different Types of Retainers

Jun 01, 2023
Understanding the Different Types of Retainers
If you don’t wear a retainer after your orthodontic treatment ends, your teeth will quickly drift back to their crooked positions. Here’s how to protect your investment and your smile by choosing the right retainer.

You put a lot of time and money into straightening your smile, so don’t let it all go to waste. Customized retainers keep your teeth firmly planted and prevent them from sliding back into their old crooked ways. 

But with all the options, choosing the right retainer can be tricky.

Rely on Dr. Andrey Gaiduchik’s expert advice. Here at Gaiduchik Orthodontics in Carmichael, California, we offer various types of retainers that cater to different needs and preferences, so come in and let’s talk about which is right for you.

Clear retainers

Clear retainers are nearly invisible, making them a popular choice for those who want to maintain a straighter smile without everyone noticing the appliance — we’re looking at you folks who opted for clear aligners or clear braces for your orthodontic treatment. 

These retainers are made of clear plastic material that conforms to your teeth snugly. Dr. Gaiduchik often recommends clear retainers for patients who have finished their orthodontic treatment and want a discreet way to prevent their teeth from shifting.

It's as comfortable to wear clear retainers as it is to wear clear aligners. Like aligners, you need to wear them for 22 hours a day, except when eating or brushing your teeth. You may experience some minor discomfort at first, but it will subside as you get used to wearing them.

Hawley retainers

Hawley retainers have an acrylic base that sits on the roof of your mouth and a wire that goes around your teeth. Hawley retainers are more noticeable than clear retainers, but they are also more durable and can last for years. Dr. Gaiduchik usually recommends Hawley retainers for patients with severe teeth misalignment or other dental issues.

If you get a Hawley retainer, you may feel some pressure on your teeth for the first few days. You’ll need to wear it for at least 16 hours a day, and you can remove it when eating, brushing your teeth, or playing sports.

Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers, also known as bonded or permanent retainers, are tiny wires that attach to the back of your teeth using dental cement. These retainers work continuously to keep your teeth in place and prevent shifting. Dr. Gaiduchik recommends fixed retainers if you need long-term retention but don't want to wear a removable retainer.

Fixed retainers are comfortable, and you will get used to them soon after we place them. You must schedule regular appointments so we can check on the retainer's condition and clean them properly.

What happens if you don't wear your retainer?

It's essential to consistently wear your retainer as Dr. Gaiduchik directs to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment. When you don't wear your retainer, your teeth may shift, and you might need further orthodontic treatment. Additionally, your bite could suffer, causing discomfort when biting and chewing.

At Gaiduchik Orthodontics, we understand that getting used to wearing retainers can take time. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact us.

Choosing the right type of retainer depends on your orthodontic needs, budget, and personal preferences. Dr. Gaiduchik can help you choose the best option for you and ensure you receive proper care and support throughout the retainer journey. Remember, consistent use is key to maintaining a straighter, healthier smile!