The Importance of Retainers in Orthodontics in Destin, FL Treatment

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Children eagerly look forward to the day when their braces will come off, never stopping to think that their orthodontic treatment won’t stop there. In order to maintain this beautiful smile, the child will likely need to wear a retainer to hold the teeth in their proper place until the bones, gums and ligaments adapt to the new placement. Most will only need to wear this retainer at night, but some will also need to wear it during the day. The Orthodontics in Destin, FL practice will explain the different types of retainers, what to expect with each one, when it should be worn and why.

The Orthodontics in Destin, FL practice may recommend the child wear a Hawley retainer as this is the most common type. This retainer consists of a metal wire that surrounds the six anterior teeth to hold them in place. The orthodontist make a mold of the teeth so the retainer fits snugly and comfortably. Children often prefer this kind as it is made of acrylic and can be made in a wide range of colors or patterns.


The Essex retainer is a clear removable retainer which fits over the arch of the teeth. The orthodontist makes a mold of the teeth with this type of retainer also, yet it has no metal or wires and many compare it to the Invisalign straighteners. This type of retainer can be used to make minor adjustments to teeth and is good for those children who tend to grind their teeth at night as it works to prevent wear on the tooth enamel.

Bonded retainers are actually cemented directly to the interior part of the lower canines and care must be taken with this type of retainer as it can break if the person bites incorrectly. This can lead to the teeth shifting again. These retainers must be carefully cleaned and the child must take care to brush the inside of the lower teeth in addition to the wire for good oral hygiene.

No matter which type of retainer is used, the child will typically wear it for a period of nine months. The retainer is also removed, when possible, when the child brushes his or her teeth. Speak to Stubbs Orthodontics about which type of retainer he or she recommends as this device is an important part of the overall orthodontics treatment.