The orthodontists use retainer to hold the position of the tooth after orthodontic treatment to prevent teeth moving back to its original position. In order to maintain the good result, patients’ discipline is required. Patients are recommended to wear retainers full time for 3 months after orthodontic treatment and just for night time after that.
There are 3 main types of orthodontic retainers
1. Clear retainers
This is the most popular retainer as it is comfortable to wear, nearly invisible and quick to fabricate. The fitting is also excellent. Moreover, it provides the most effective retention when compared with other types of retainers. However, clear retainers will last approximately 1 year.
2. Wire retainers (wrap around, Hawley’s retainer)
It is custom-made of acrylic and wire. This type of retainers is very durable, it may last 3-5 years. However, it requires regular tightening. It is not effective to hold the tooth in a vertical position as there is no part of the retainer to cover the edge of the tooth.
3. Fixed retainers
It is a very small diameter of wire attached to the back of the 6 front teeth (right canine to left canine). It is normally used in combination with either clear or wire retainers to provide a double-lock system. We normally recommend to use in the case of generalized spacing or severe crowding to ensure the no relapse will occur.