Clear retainers are removable and custom molded to fit your teeth and they are invisible when you wear them. They’re less likely to impede on your ability to speak, but if you don’t clean them properly, they can trap food and drink against your teeth, causing cavities. Clear retainers also can’t be adjusted, so if your teeth move or the retainers are damaged, they’ll need to be completely replaced.
Hawley type retainers are a popular type of retainer that can be adjusted through time. They are made of a thin metal wire attached to plastic that is molded to the shape of your mouth.
Fixed or permanent retainers are metal wires bonded to the back of the teeth to keep them straight. Since they are affixed to the back of the teeth, they are very effective and reliable. However, patients with fixed retainers may have difficulty cleaning the plaque between the wires and teeth, so these retainers are usually removed after some time.
If you have questions about retainer care, feel free to reach out to our orthodontists in Encino and Glendale.