What are Different Types of Aligners?

Orthodontists generally use two types of ortho aligners; removable and fixed aligners. While wearing both aligner types is the same – to prevent unwanted tooth movement – they work differently. 

  • Wire/ Fixed Retainers 

These retainers are made of orthodontic wire and plastic-like material. The wire passes through the inner surface of the front (upper and lower) teeth and is bonded to each tooth using composite resin. Fixed retainers are usually prescribed for long-term treatment or in cases when patients frequently lose or break the removable retainers. They are also prescribed to patients with a higher risk of treatment relapse. Fixed retainers also carry a few drawbacks; tongue irritation and difficulty eating and speaking. 

  • Clear/ Removable Retainers 

As the name suggests, these retainers are made from a transparent polymeric material, like clear aligners. These retainers are designed to fit over the newly-aligned teeth and serve as a physical barrier against unwanted tooth movement. Removable retainers are prescribed when patients only need to wear the aligners during the night. Disadvantages of removable aligners include the frequent need for repair or replacement, discoloration due to food items, and warpage when exposed to heat. 

Ortho retainers are an essential part of your orthodontic treatment; they ensure that you enjoy a set of perfectly aligned teeth and a beautiful smile throughout life. Therefore, wearing your aligners according to your orthodontist’s instructions is as important as wearing your braces or aligners.