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Guide to Retainers

Jun 8

Written by: Dr. David Chen
6/8/2018 11:54 AM  RssIcon

Getting your braces off is an exciting time, but you can't ride into the sunset with your beautiful smile without abandon! For the rest of your life, your retainer will be a necessary part of your oral care.

At first, you need to wear your retainer every day, all day for 3-6 months. Over time, you can just wear your retainer at night, or every other night.

There are three main types of retainers;

Bonded (Permanent) Retainers

Bonded retainers use a metal band and are secured to your teeth, so you can't remove it on your own. This makes it a no-brainer to keep your teeth straight. They last around 3-5 years, so if you start to see damage, you'll want to go to your dentist or orthodontist and find a new solution.

Hawley Retainers

These are the traditional metal and plastic retainers. Sometimes, patients can pick their own color of the plastic for a custom retainer. They have a metal wire that wraps around the teeth to keep them in place. These are very durable, but still wear out over time, around 5-7 years.


Essix Retainers

These are clear plastic retainers that are molded to each individual tooth. They need to be cleaned regularly - denture cleaning tabs are a good option!

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