What Type of Retainers Are Available?
There are three main types of retainers and each style has its pros and cons:
Hawley Retainers: Hawley retainers are most common. This removable retainer consists of a metal wire and an acrylic or plastic arch that fits to the roof of the mouth. Though they take some getting used to, they are highly effective and long-lasting.
Clear Retainers: Another removable type, clear retainers are made from molded plastic and are not as durable as Hawley retainers. They are typically preferred because they are clear, thus less noticeable (much like Invisalign® clear tray aligners).
Bonded Retainers: Bonded retainers are permanent. A piece of wire is fixed to the back of the teeth and is usually recommended for more severe alignment issues, patients who have a greater chance of their teeth reverting and for kids, especially if an orthodontist thinks they may not keep up with their removable retainer.