Orthodontic Retainers in Houston, TX

One of the most important parts of orthodontic treatment is what happens after we finish moving your teeth – making them stay put! In order to maintain your beautiful, new smile you will need to wear retainers to help keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.

Types of Retainers: Pros and Cons

There are three basic types of retainers, each with their own pros and cons. We also offer Vivera® retainers by Invisalign®.

Clear Plastic Retainers


Very similar to Invisalign® aligners, these retainers are made out of clear molded plastic that fits over the teeth. They have become increasingly popular over the years thanks to their nearly invisible appearance. Other benefits include:

  • Easily removable
  • Easier to maintain oral hygiene
  • Less likely to affect speech
  • Can usually be made within an hour or at least by the next day
  • Retain your teeth more accurately than other types of removable retainers

These retainers are not as durable as Hawley retainers and cannot be adjusted for dental work or if the teeth move. Most importantly, removable means “losable”!

Hawley retainers


Also known as wire retainers, this type is the most commonly recognized. Pros include:

  • Easily removable
  • Easier to maintain oral hygiene
  • Generally last longer than other retainers
  • Can be adjusted after new dental work
hawley wire retainer houston texas

Many people don’t like this type of retainer because its wire is visible in front of your teeth. It’s also more likely to affect speech than other types of retainers. They are bulkier and less comfortable than clear retainers, and they do not retain teeth as accurately. Since they are removable, Hawley retainers are also easy to lose and require 10-15 days for fabrication.

Fixed retainers


Fixed retainers are highly convenient since they are bonded to the back of your teeth. Since they are “permanent,” you won’t have to remember to wear them or worry about losing them. Other pros include:

  • Not noticeable
  • Comfortable
  • Unlikely to affect speech
fixed bonded retainer lower teeth

Since they are glued to the back of your teeth, fixed retainers are more difficult to clean around than removable ones. Because you don’t remove them to eat, it is possible for food to get stuck under them and must be cleaned out later. Fixed retainers worn on the top of the teeth are most likely to break, requiring a follow up visit to our office for repair or replacement.

Vivera® Retainers by Invisalign®


Vivera® retainers are a special type of clear plastic retainers. They are made by Invisalign®, but that doesn’t mean you have to go through your orthodontic treatment using Invisalign® to qualify for them; people who had braces can get them, too!

  • Come in series of 4 instead of just one
  • Easily removable
  • Easier to maintain oral hygiene
  • Less likely to affect speech
vivera retainer invisalign houston texas

The other great thing is that Invisalign® will always have a scan of your teeth on file, so you can order more sets of retainers years down the road if you need them.

Alternatives to Retainers by Houston’s Advance Orthodontics

What if my teeth need to be moved?

In general, retainers are meant to keep teeth where they are, not to move them. If you’d like your teeth to be moved, retainers are probably not the best option. In the “old days”, some orthodontists offered “active retainers” to try to correct mild relapse if a patient hadn’t worn their retainers enough after finishing treatment and the teeth had shifted slightly. Nowadays, however, we have more reliable means of minor relapse correction, such as Invisalign® Express. It is relatively inexpensive compared to putting braces back on, and it works much better than an “active retainer.”

Contact Advance Orthodontics for Retainers in Houston, TX

Retainers play an extremely important part in your orthodontic treatment. If you have lost your retainer or need a replacement, Advance Orthodontics happily provides retainers for anyone located in the Houston area. Fill out our form or call us today to schedule an appointment!