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Orthodontic Retainers: Preserving Your Smile

After the removal of braces, the “retention” phase commences to prevent the teeth from reverting to their original positions. Utilizing a retainer is essential to uphold the improved alignment of the teeth.


What Varieties of Retainers are Available?

  • A diverse range of retainers is accessible, each tailored to address distinct dental issues.
  • The orthodontist will recommend a specific type of retainer based on the initial diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • The most prevalent retainer types include the Hawley Retainer, the Essix Retainer, and the Fixed Retainer.



Essix Retainer

The Essix retainer, predominantly a vacuum-formed retainer (VFR), involves the creation of clear PVC trays molded to fit over the teeth. Unlike the Hawley retainer, the Essix retainer does not significantly impact the visual aesthetics of the smile. These retainers are widely favored post-braces removal, with recommended 24-hour wear for the first year, gradually transitioning to nighttime use.


Fixed Retainer

Fixed retainers are employed temporarily alongside Essix or Hawley retainers to provide additional support in maintaining the teeth’s new alignment, especially in cases of swift or substantial tooth movement. Typically, a fixed retainer comprises a single wire.


Hawley Retainer

Comprising a metal wire affixed to an acrylic arch, the Hawley retainer allows periodic adjustments by the orthodontist to retain the desired teeth position. Designed for comfortable placement on the lingual walls or palate, initial wear duration ranges from 16 to 18 hours daily, often transitioning to night time wear after several months.