Your braces are off! Your teeth are beautiful and smooth! You are free of wire, metal and rubber bands! Although, this is a time for celebration, please remember that the retention phase of treatment is just beginning.
The retention phase is a critical stage, once your braces or Invisalign treatment is complete, that typically involves wearing a retainer.
We will help you determine which type of retainer will work best for you and how long it needs to be worn. Please remember that once the teeth are in their proper position they can have a memory and move back to their original position. The teeth are held in place by fibers called the periodontal ligaments. It may take a few months for these ligaments to adjust to their new position. It is essential to wear your retainer as recommended so the ligaments are not able to move the teeth back to an undesirable location.
Common Types of Retainers:
- Hawley Retainer - This U-shaped acrylic retainer fits into your mouth and has a thin wire that holds the teeth in place. This retainer is simple, durable and easy to remove. They can be customized in color and design.
- Fixed Bonded Retainer - This retainer is a thin wire that is cemented onto the back of the front teeth. The retainer is not visible and not able to be removed by the patient. This retainer may be in place for months or years.
- Clear Plastic Retainer - These retainers are made of clear plastic that is custom made to fit over your teeth. They are invisible with no wires that show and are easily removed by the patient.
- Wear your retainer at all times until your doctor instructs you otherwise.
- Initially, it may be difficult to speak but you will get used to your retainer.
- Remove your retainer when you’re eating and always put it in the case! Many retainers get thrown away because they are placed in paper napkins.
- Clean your retainer every night with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and warm water. You may find some products helpful in cleaning your retainer but remember they do not take the place of thoroughly brushing your appliance.
- If you remove your retainer, always put it in the case! Dogs love to chew on appliances.
- Do not try to adjust your retainer yourself!
- Remove your retainer when you’re swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot air, the washing machine, and pockets.
If your retainer breaks or is lost, call us immediately as your teeth can most quickly!