A beautiful smile is one of the best investments you can make. To protect it, it is important that you wear your retainers on a consistent basis throughout your life. A set of removable retainers and a bonded lower retainer (if needed) are included as part of your treatment. Dr. Harville and her team will let you know exactly how to wear them.

Essix Retainers

The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign® trays, Essix retainers have no wires and are comfortable to wear. An Essix Retainer conforms exactly to the contours of the teeth to aid in the maintenance of tooth position (retention).

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and/or patterns.

Fixed Retainers

A Bonded Lingual Retainer is usually comprised of a braided stainless steel wire that connects to the lingual (back) surfaces of the front teeth. The Bonded Retainer is used to maintain a previous orthodontic result or to simply prevent undesirable movement of the teeth.

One of the benefits of getting a bonded retainer is that it will help hold your teeth straight. However, bonded retainers do NOT serve as a substitute for clear removable retainers and alone will not guarantee teeth to remain straight. For that reason, you will still be expected to wear a clear removable retainer over the top of your bonded retainer.


Retention is as important as the treatment itself and is essential to the long-term maintenance of your new bite and smile. If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.