Once your braces are removed, the retention phase of your treatment begins. The retention phase usually lasts for about 24 months. While it may vary from patient to patient, the normal period for full-time retainer wear lasts for about two years. During this time, we will schedule regular appointments every 6 months to allow us to monitor your progress and address any questions or concerns you have. After this period of full-time retainer wear, we will often recommend part-time retainer wear indefinitely, to ensure your smile is as straight and beautiful as the day your braces came off!
Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
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. They are inexpensive and easier to wear.
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 a scan of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while the wire and acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and/or patterns.
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines. This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.
If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.