When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. 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.
Maxillary wrap-around retainers are your upper retainers, which are removable. You must be very careful when handling your upper retainers, as they are fragile and costly to replace. You are given a special case for your retainer; please make sure you keep them in this case when not wearing it! To clean these retainers, brush them with toothpaste (sometimes with denture cleaner) using warm water.
Your retainers should be worn at all times with the exception of eating and brushing your teeth. Your retainer should also be removed when participating in sports that require a mouthguard or while swimming. After 12 months of full-time wear, we may revise your retention treatment, allowing the retainer to strictly be worn at night.
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.
The clear retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign trays, clear retainers have no wires. They are inexpensive and easier to wear. They can be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges.
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). 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.