After spending the time and money on braces, you don’t want to have your teeth move back. Unfortunately, teeth can shift after the use of braces. No matter your age when receiving braces, you are always at risk for movement. However, retainers are able to help keep the teeth in place after your initial treatment with braces. But what are retainers, and how important are they to your smile?

Learning about Retainers

man being fitted for retainers

A retainer is a custom-made oral appliance often used to maintain the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. If you have finished your orthodontic treatment, such as braces, our dentist may recommend a retainer to keep your smile properly aligned. As you age, your teeth tend to shift; the retainer ensures that your teeth remain in correct alignment for optimal oral health, functionality, and appearance.

Without the appliance, your teeth could shift back to their original positions. This could mean more time and money spent on fixing your smile once more. Instead of letting your treatment go to waste, consider a fitting for a new retainer.

There are three main types of retainers available:

  • Hawley retainers consist of wires and clasps embedded in a plastic body that covers the roof of the mouth (for the upper arch) or lies along the tongue side of the teeth (for the lower arch). The clasps fit around certain teeth to anchor the retainer in place, while the wire arches across the front of the teeth to maintain their alignment.
  • Clear retainers are made of clear plastic and fit snugly over the teeth. A clear retainer is usually more discreet than a Hawley retainer, although it may not be as durable.
  • Permanent retainers, also called bonded or fixed retainers, are permanently attached to the backside of the front teeth. This prevents the teeth from shifting out of place. In fact, only an orthodontist can remove this appliance. This is different from the previous options that allow you to remove the appliance whenever you please.

Retainers Through Ricci Orthodontics

Following your completed orthodontic treatment, our orthodontist will provide you with a custom-made retainer to preserve your new smile. You are always welcome to contact Ricci Orthodontics at (678) 932-0308 if you would like to ask Dr. Steven Ricci about our retainers in Johns Creek, Georgia. Our orthodontist will help you determine whether you need a retainer after your orthodontic treatment. For more information, we welcome you to call us today! Let our team help you maintain the great smile you worked so hard for.