Retention is the final stage of orthodontic treatment. After your smile is perfected, your orthodontist will custom make a retainer for you to wear once your treatment is complete. Both upper and lower retainers are usually worn during the night unless otherwise specified. As you continue to grow, your teeth will possibly do some shifting. Orthodontic retainers serve an important role as a longer-term solution for maintaining your new, beautiful smile by keeping teeth in place and not allowing them to shift back to their original position.
We offer the three most common types of retainers:
- Clear Retainers
These removable, clear retainers are custom-fit to your teeth and fit just like a mouthguard. We take an impression in our office and our lab technicians fabricate your retainer in our on-site lab. clear retainers are good for patients that want a more discreet appliance. They are generally easier to wear than traditional wire retainers but may not last as long if the patient grinds their teeth together.
- Permanent Retainers
This type of retainer is actually a metal wire bonded (glued) to the back of your teeth to keep them in place. They are not visible to others and do a great job maintaining your new, beautiful smile.
Bonded retainers cannot be removed by the patient. Bonded retainers require more care to brush and floss your teeth, so special care must be taken to keep them clean and tarter-free. The best part is you will not lose it!
- Traditional Metal Retainers
“Hawley” retainers are the most common type of retainer because they are durable, adjustable, and removable. A metal wire is mounted in an acrylic arch to keep it securely in the patient’s mouth. This retainer can be active to slightly move teeth or inactive to hold teeth in their current position. The acrylic comes in many fun colors!
Always wear your retainer!! Retainers are made to hold teeth in their new positions while the gums and bones settle into their new positions. Both children and adults experience changes to their dental structure throughout their lives. Retainers serve to keep teeth aligned as the facial structure grows and changes.