Bonded retainers are also known as permanent retainers. This type of retainer is typically used for patients whose teeth need extra security to help them stabilize. Bonded retainers are exactly what they sound like — bonded to your teeth with a specific glue.
You may wear a permanent retainer for the rest of your life. While they have many benefits, like not losing or damaging them, permanent retainers do make oral hygiene a little trickier. If you notice that your bonded retainer has shifted, make an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible.
Hawley retainers are more familiarly recognized as removable retainers or wire retainers. Hawley retainers are made of a plastic shell that molds to the roof of your mouth.
The benefits to removable retainers include:
However, some orthodontists may be cautious about using this type of retainer if they fear their patient will lose it. Make sure you always put the retainer in its proper case when eating, so it does not get accidentally thrown in the trash!
Essix retainers are made of clear plastic that slides over your teeth to maintain their alignment. This type of retainer has grown increasingly popular over recent years due to its nearly invisible design.
While clear, removable retainers look similar to clear aligners such as Invisalign
, they are different. Essix retainers are designed specifically to prevent your teeth from moving out of their new position, whereas Invisalign’s purpose is to move your teeth.
No matter the type of retainer you receive, the key factor is to wear it as instructed and clean it regularly. Your orthodontist will choose the best retainer for you based on your orthodontic needs.