What Type of Retainer is Best?


The day that you get your braces off is definitely worthy of a celebration! After having braces for a couple of years, you’ll marvel at how smooth your teeth feel and how amazingly straight your teeth are when the brackets and wires are removed. In order to keep your teeth looking great for years to come, the next step will be getting fitted for a retainer. There are many types of retainers out there, and in today’s blog, we’ll take a look at three of the most common ones and how you can determine which one might best suit your needs.

At Bietsch Orthodontics in Prosper, we provide innovative orthodontic treatment methods to provide our patients with state-of-the-art smiles. If you or a loved one would like a consultation with our friendly staff, give us a call today at 972-934-6222! We’d love to speak with you!

3 Common Types of Retainers

After you get your braces taken off, you want to do everything possible to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their former position. Thankfully with the proper use of a retainer, you can keep your smile straight for life. Below, we’ve listed three common types of retainers.


When most people think of retainers, they probably picture the standard acrylic and wire appliance that is the Hawley retainer. Manufactured from a mold that our assistants will take of your palate, the appliance will be custom made to fit your mouth and teeth. The overriding advantage of this appliance over the others is that the wires can be positioned and adjusted to allow your teeth the minor movements that may be necessary to conclude your treatment.


This type of retainer is made in much the same manner that the Hawley retainer is, but this appliance is made from a plastic material. After our staff takes a mold of your mouth, this retainer is fabricated from the cast. This type of retainer is designed to fit very snugly over your teeth and will be in direct contact with the fronts, backs, and biting surfaces of your teeth when it is worn. Clear retainers should last for several years when properly worn and maintained.


As the name suggests, this type of retainer is affixed to the back surface of your teeth the help prevent them from shifting after you get your braces off. This type of appliance is essentially composed of a flexible, stainless steel wire and the bonding material that attaches it to your teeth. Many people refer to them as “permanent retainers,” however, patients are not required to keep them indefinitely and once removed, you’ll be fitted for a removable retainer.

For the convenience of our patients and because no two treatment plans are the same, we offer all three of these types of retainers in our office. Dr. Bietsch or one of his assistants would be happy to speak with you in order to determine which retainer might be best for you.

What Kind of Retainer is Right For Me?

When it comes time to determine whether a Hawley, clear, or fixed retainer will be most beneficial for you, there are a many factors to consider and we’ve listed a few of them below.

  • Convenience: If you’re someone who likes the convenience of a removable retainer for eating, brushing, and other activities, a Hawley or clear plastic retainer may be preferable.
  • Health issues: Do you find yourself clenching your jaw while working or grinding your teeth at night? If so, a clear, plastic retainer may be beneficial because it can double as a mouthguard.
  • Dental hygiene: When it comes to proper oral hygiene, removable retainers make things like brushing and flossing much easier. Cleaning around fixed retainers can be cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • Prior orthodontic history: If you’re someone who has teeth that shift easily, you’ve had braces more than once, or you find remembering to wear your retainer a challenge, a fixed retainer may best suit your needs.

Dr. Bietsch will review these types of considerations and more with you when it comes time to be fitted for your retainer.

Orthodontic Retainer Provider in Prosper

Whether you’re searching for an orthodontist for an initial consultation or need to be fitted for a new retainer or appliance, Bietsch Orthodontics is here for you! With more than 15 years of experience in orthodontics, we’re a top provider in the Prosper area. Additionally, we accept 13 different insurance plans for your convenience.

Contact us at 972-934-6222 to learn more!

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