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.
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 who have bonded retainers to also wear clear essix retainers at night to keep their teeth from shifting.
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.