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Through the course of your routine adjustments, your braces moved your teeth into alignment for a more functional mouth and an appealing smile. Even once your braces are removed your teeth are prone to a process known as relapse. When this happens the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth try to pull them back into their old alignment. A retainer is absolutely critical to maintaining that alignment after your braces are removed.

There are three different types of retainers. How much adjustment your teeth required as well as the residual tension in your periodontal ligaments will greatly influence what type of retainer your orthodontist recommends.

A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer. It is made from a molded acrylic material. The thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic is custom fitted to the shape of your mouth. The piece includes a wire that helps to hold your teeth in position.

A clear plastic retainer is very similar to clear plastic aligners like Clear Correct or Invisalign. These retainers are made from a durable plastic that custom matches your teeth. These retainers are popular with adults because they aren’t as noticeable to the casual observer. This retainer might not be advisable if you have chronic issues with grinding your teeth

A fixed retainer is a durable wire retainer that is cemented in place behind the teeth. They are most common for people who required a great deal of realignment in their lower teeth. Interdental brushes and dental water jets are handy tools for cleaning around these retainers.

If you are going to have braces removed and you have questions about what type of retainer is right for you please call us at 402.289.3232 to schedule an appointment.