Types of Retainers

One of the most important parts of your orthodontic treatment comes at the very end, after your teeth are straight, your bite is aligned, and you have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Spillers Orthodontics will provide you with a set of retainers to wear to keep your new smile straight. Your teeth will shift if you do not wear your retainers, so it is very important to wear them as prescribed by Dr. Spillers or Dr. Gordon. During the first couple of months, they generally recommend wearing your retainers twenty-four hours a day, unless eating or brushing your teeth. After a few months, it is fine to begin wearing your retainers just at night, while you are sleeping.

Clear Retainer
Our retainer of choice at Spillers Orthodontics is the Essix clear removable retainer. These are made in our office from a clear, plastic sheet which is formed with heat over a model of your teeth. These retainers have a tight fit and hold all of your teeth in position. Another advantage of clear retainers is being able to use them as bleaching trays to whiten your teeth. As with any removable appliance, it is very important to store your retainers in a retainer case when you aren’t wearing them.

clear retainer

Bonded or Lingual Retainer
Bonded retainers, also referred to as “permanent retainers”, consist of a small wire that is attached behind the front teeth with an adhesive. The advantages and disadvantages of a bonded retainer should be considered and discussed before having one placed. Bonded retainers help prevent the front teeth from shifting, but don’t protect the back teeth from moving. These retainers can break or easily become detached from a tooth, resulting in shifting of the teeth, often before the patient is aware. Patients must be diligent to keep the bonded retainer clean by flossing with a floss threader daily to prevent tartar buildup. These are not a good choice for people who struggle with oral hygiene. Although Spillers Orthodontics does not generally recommend bonded retainers, we will place them at the patients’ request. We do recommend all patients wearing “permanent” retainers also wear clear retainers at night to keep their teeth from shifting.

permanent retainer

bonded retainer

Hawley Retainer
Hawley retainers consist of metal wires and plastic. These retainers are typically for patients needing minor tooth movement. Although they can also be used to retain the teeth, they are the least aesthetic choice.
wire retainer
metal retainer

Care Instructions

  • Wear your retainers at all times, until Dr. Spillers or Dr. Gordon instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainers out when eating, and always put them in their case! Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.
  • Clean the retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When your retainers are not in your mouth, they should always be in their case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak while wearing your retainers. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to your retainers faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainers get lost or broken, call us immediately to schedule an appointment to replace them. There will be a charge for this service.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or you believe they need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • With proper care your retainers will last for years!
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Be sure to remove your retainers when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
  • Remember, if you need new retainers, for any reason, please call our office to discuss your options. It is very important that you do not go without your retainers; we don’t want your teeth to shift.

Spillers Orthodontics invites you to contact our office at 478-953-2700 today if you have further questions about retainers in Warner Robins or Macon, Georgia.