Boy wearing retainer after braces treatment.

The Most Common Types of Retainers

Braces and clear aligners will straighten your teeth and correct your bite. Retainers will keep them straight. If you don’t wear retainers when you finish orthodontic treatment, your teeth will slowly (and sometimes quickly) want to go back to the way they were before, so retainers are very important. They need to be worn for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight—which probably means forever! Dr. Cardall often says they should be worn at “night-time for a lifetime”.

We have a few different retainer options:

  1. Clear Retainers look like similar to clear aligners or Invisalign trays. They are made of a specialized clear plastic that is custom fitted to your teeth. Clear plastic retainers are the most popular type of retainer nowadays because they hold the teeth in alignment very precisely, are easier to adjust if needed, and are cheaper to replace. Plus they also function as nightguards and teeth whitening trays!
  2. Traditional Hawley Retainers have an acrylic center that rests on the roof of your mouth and a wire that runs along the front of the teeth. These retainers are not used as often as in the past for several reasons. First, they are more expensive to replace when lost or broken. They also are more difficult to adjust in the event of a poor fit or if the teeth have shifted (usually from not wearing the retainer as prescribed). Hawley retainers do not hold the teeth as precisely as clear retainers, allowing for more movement and mild rotations which can be frustrating for some people. However, traditional Hawley retainers are still used by Dr. Cardall in certain situations in which they may be superior to clear retainers, such as in the case of missing teeth. If you have a question about which retainer is best for your situation, be sure to come in for a free consultation and ask Dr. Cardall!
  3. Fixed/Permanent Retainer is a small wire cemented to the back of your front teeth that doesn’t come out. You can brush around it and floss underneath it. Dr. Cardall is one of only a few orthodontists in Bakersfield to offer these and he recommends that many of his patients to get a fixed retainer on the lower teeth to ensure they don’t move. These retainers are especially helpful if the patient isn’t great at wearing a removable retainer.

When you finish your orthodontic treatment at our Bakersfield orthodontist office, we will give you removable clear retainers (including a fixed retainer if desired) at no additional cost. Dr. Cardall wants his patients to have straight teeth throughout their lives, which means they need to wear their retainers, so we are proud to offer one of the lowest retainer replacement fees in Bakersfield. This is one way we offer #smilesforall! Happy retention!