It’s always exciting when your aligner treatment comes to an end. But that’s not the end of your smile journey. After your SmileDirectClub, or any other orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to wear a retainer to keep your smile looking its best.
What are retainers for?
Retainers keep your teeth from moving back to their original position. They are made to be worn after your orthodontic treatment — such as clear aligner therapy — ends.
Do retainers straighten teeth? The short answer is no. Orthodontic treatments straighten teeth. Retainers help keep them straight so your smile stays as perfect as it was the day your treatment ended.
There are two main reasons to wear a retainer after orthodontic treatment, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
When do you wear a retainer?
You should wear a retainer for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. Consider them as part of your oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing your teeth. The AAO recommends wearing your retainer each night, overnight, after you’ve brushed and flossed.
Choosing a retainer
Which retainer you choose is up to you. There are three different types of retainers available. They fall into two categories: removable and fixed.
Removable retainers — those you can put in and remove yourself — include clear teeth retainers and removable wire retainers, also known as Hawley retainers. Fixed retainers are also called permanent retainers. A dentist or orthodontist must place and remove those.
Here are a few more facts you should know about the three types of retainers so you can make the right decision for you.
What you should know about clear retainers
Clear retainers are transparent trays made using molds of your teeth. This helps them to fit perfectly in your mouth and on your teeth.
SmileDirectClub offers clear retainers to use after your aligner treatment.
Clear retainers purchased through SmileDirectClub help protect your smile investment. They’re a required part of the Lifetime Smile GuaranteeTM and in order to be eligible for it, you’ll need to order your retainers through SDC directly.
Chances are you chose SmileDirectClub aligners in part because of their clear, discreet appearance. Our clear retainers look very similar, but they’re made of a slightly different material — a more durable .76mm thermoplastic polyurethane.
There’s nothing obvious to call attention to them. Like wearing your SmileDirectClub aligners, others may not realize you’re even wearing a clear retainer.
Fit and feel make clear retainers a clear choice for many. They don’t cover the roof of your mouth, so they’re more comfortable overall.
Clear retainers typically last up to 6 months. And they’re removable, so, they’re also convenient.
What you should know about Maxillary Hawley retainers
A Maxillary Hawley Appliance is one of the oldest retainer types. It’s also known as a metal retainer or removable wire retainer.
To keep your teeth from moving, a Hawley retainer uses stainless steel wires.
A Hawley retainer has several parts: a wire that goes across your front teeth, steel clips that often go on your molars, and a polished acrylic framework that partially covers the roof of your mouth.
Because of the stainless steel, a Hawley retainer is more visible to others and you won’t be able to hide the fact that you’re wearing one.
One positive to Hawley retainers is that they’re adjustable, so they can be tightened or loosened for the best fit.
You’ll need to go to a local orthodontist or dentist to be fitted for a Hawley retainer.
What you should know about permanent retainers
Permanent retainers are exactly what they sound like. You can’t take them out.
To keep teeth aligned, a dentist or orthodontist will adhere, or bond, a single bar to the back of your upper or lower teeth. Because of their location, permanent retainers are largely not visible to others.
Like Hawley retainers, you need to be fitted for a permanent retainer by a dentist or orthodontist. Since they’re permanently attached, you never have to worry about losing your retainer.
That’s a plus for some, but fixed retainers come with several disadvantages, too. They can be difficult to clean. Just like braces with metal wires, permanent retainers interfere with flossing and brushing. Without proper flossing and brushing, you can get excess plaque build-up.
Get started today
Everyone is unique and has different retainer needs. To purchase clear retainers through SmileDirectClub, give us a call today at (800) 679-0681.