Ensuring Your Results Last a Lifetime
Once your braces are removed or you take out your final set of clear aligners, you’ll start the retention stage of your treatment. The retention stage is when you wear an orthodontic retainer (or retainers) to hold your teeth in their new positions and lock in your bite. Since your final orthodontic result depends on wearing your retainers as prescribed, you’ll want to follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far! We’ll discuss the pros and cons of the different types of orthodontic retainers to find the best fit for your lifestyle and needs. We’ll then create custom retainers for you, as well as a schedule for wearing them, to help you maintain your straight smile for life.
The Different Types of Orthodontic Retainers
An Essix retainer, or clear retainer, is a transparent, removable orthodontic retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign® aligners, Essix retainers have no wires. Clear retainers are becoming the most popular type since they’re easy to wear, virtually invisible and they do a great job of keeping the teeth aligned when worn as prescribed.
A Hawley retainer is a removable retainer made of a combination of sturdy acrylic and a metal wire. The acrylic piece fits snugly against the roof of your mouth and the wire wraps around your teeth to keep them in perfect position. We can personalize the acrylic with all kinds of different colors and/or patterns.
A bonded lingual retainer, sometimes called a permanent retainer, consists of a metal wire that is cemented to the inside surface of your lower front teeth. It helps keep the teeth in their correct positions and it can’t be seen when you smile. As with braces, it’s important to keep your bonded retainer clean and floss under it regularly.
If your retainer breaks at any time, please don’t adjust it yourself. Call us right away and we’ll schedule an emergency appointment to repair or replace it so that your teeth don’t shift.