A retainer is a custom-made oral appliance used to maintain the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. If you have finished your orthodontic treatment, our dentist will provide you with 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.

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.
  • Fixed retainers, also called bonded or permanent retainers, are permanently attached to the backside of the front teeth. They prevent the teeth from shifting out of place and can only be removed by a dental professional.

Wearing a retainer as directed is crucial for maintaining the results of your orthodontic treatment. Neglecting to wear your retainer can lead to teeth gradually moving back to their original positions, which may necessitate further orthodontic treatment.

In addition to wearing your retainer, it is important to keep it clean and handle it with care. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of bacteria and plaque, ensuring that your retainer remains hygienic and effective.

Dr. Gregory Davis will help you determine whether you need a retainer after your orthodontic treatment. For more information about retainers in Boise, Idaho, and to schedule an appointment at State Street Dental, we welcome you to call us today at 208-939-1700!