Don’t forget the retainer! You have decided on braces for you or someone you love but what happens when the teeth are straight and the braces come off? It’s time for the retainers. Fixed or removable retainers, if worn properly, keep your teeth in the position they are in when Dr. Stephens removes your braces. They are a very important part of maintaining straight teeth for years to come.

The most common is the clear retainer. It is made from ridged, clear plastic that is vacuum sealed to a model of your teeth. This type of retainer is almost invisible since you see the teeth and gums through the clear appliance. The Hawley retainer is a plastic piece that molds to the roof of your mouth and has a wire that goes around the outside of the teeth.

In some cases, a fixed retainer can be used. This is a wire that has been molded to fit the inside of your teeth. It is glued into place with a glue pad on each tooth that it covers. This type of retainer is most used on the lower teeth with a removable retainer on the upper teeth. It can be used on the inside upper teeth but there has to be enough tooth surface available so the glue pad doesn’t get knocked off by the lower teeth.