While it would be ideal for your teeth to remain perfectly straight after you complete your orthodontic treatment, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Even after you have braces or aligners, your teeth will want to naturally shift back to their original position.

That’s why your orthodontist will give you a retainer that you’ll wear regularly in order to prevent your teeth from shifting. But with so many options, you may be wondering what type of retainer would be best for you. While your orthodontist will recommend the type of dental retainer best suited for your smile, here are some common options.

Various Options of Dental Retainers

Clear Plastic Retainer

Also known as vacuum form retainers or VFRs, this retainer resembles clear aligners worn to straighten out your teeth in the first place. These are often the preferred retainer for adults as they blend seamlessly into your smile. They are also thinner and sometimes more comfortable than other types of retainers.

Hawley Wire Retainers

This retainer involves a piece of plastic that sits on the roof or floor of your mouth and a wire that wraps around your teeth to keep them in place. This retainer often appeals to young patients since its color can be customized. They also can be easily repaired if damaged and are easy to remove when you need to eat or brush your teeth.

Fixed Retainers

Made of copper, nickel, or titanium, these retainers are permanently attached to the back of your teeth and last forever, meaning your teeth will never revert back to their unaligned form. The main downside to these types of retainers is that, if you don’t practice good oral hygiene, they can become filled with plaque and bacteria.