Alternatives to Plastic Retainers

If you are thinking about getting braces or are about to have your braces removed, it’s a good idea to look into what type of retainer you will use after your braces are off. Each type of retainer has some advantages and disadvantages, so be sure you talk to your orthodontist about your options. Vacuum-formed transparent plastic (Essix) retainers have become popular in recent years, but there are other inconspicuous alternatives to plastic retainers that we offer at Advanced Orthodontic Care in Cherry Creek, Denver.

Hawley Retainers

When most people think of a dental retainer, they think of the Hawley Retainer. The Hawley Retainer has the classic acrylic arch, plus the wire that goes around your teeth. The Hawley Retainer is adjustable, so our Denver orthodontist Dr. Robert Rudman can keep it fitting nicely to keep your teeth in their beautiful, straightened position.

Bonded Retainers

Instead of Hawley Retainers and plastic retainers, many of our Cherry Creek patients choose nearly invisible bonded retainers, also called fixed lingual retainers. Bonded retainers are solidly attached to the back side of your teeth, on one or both dental arches (upper and lower).

Depending on your individual needs, we may also recommend bonded retainers in addition to your Essix retainer or overlay retainer. Bonded retainers allow you to keep your teeth from moving so that you don’t have to wear your regular retainer 24/7. Instead, you can put your retainer in at night or just a few days a week to maintain your smile.

With bonded retainers, your teeth are held in place, but others can’t see your retainer. Both fixed lingual retainers and Hawley retainers may need to be replaced if damaged or if your teeth need stronger support to stay straight. However, bonded retainers can last for six to ten years depending on the amount of wear and tear they suffer. Much like the tires on your car, your retainer can wear out, so your retainer may have to be replaced earlier if you frequently clench or grind your teeth.

To find out more about your options for retainers after braces, please contact Advanced Orthodontic Care in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.

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