Retention

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Essix Retainers

Essix.jpgThe 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 less expensive than Hawley or lingual retainers and are easier to wear. They can be used for other treatments as well, including minor tooth movement and bridges.

Lingual Retainers

lingualbondedretainer.jpgBonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surfaces of your teeth. The original position of your teeth will determine if you need a lingual retainer and if so, which teeth it will be bonded to. Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and this can cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. A special flossing technique is needed to keep lingual retainers and your teeth clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.

Hawley Retainers

HawleyRetainer.jpgThe Hawley retainer 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.

How Long do I Need to Wear My Retainers?

While it may vary from patient to patient and office to office, the normal period for full-time retainer wear at Dr. Brown’s office is one month. Thereafter, Dr. Brown will likely recommend 12-hour wear indefinitely. Retention is the most important part of your treatment and it lasts as long as you want your teeth to remain as straight and as beautiful as the day your braces came off! Dr. Brown and her staff will see you for one full year after your braces come off. We will schedule regular appointments every 3 months to give us an opportunity to monitor your retention progress and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Can Teeth Move After Treatment?

Absolutely! The forces that our office took advantage of to move your teeth into proper position are the same ones that can shift your teeth into an improper position without care and oversight. Tooth position typically changes in patients over time, regardless of orthodontic treatment, and minor changes to your retainer may be necessary in the future, but our ultimate goal is to keep your smile beautiful and functional for the rest of your life.

Retainer Care

Losing or breaking your retainers not only potentially jeopardizes your new smile; it also adds expense for retainer repair or replacement! Therefore, it is important that you treat your retainer with as much care as possible. Brush your retainer with cool (not hot!) water and toothpaste. You may also need to soak it occasionally in dental cleanser to keep it smelling and tasting fresh. And if your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in its case! Retainers kept in pockets, placed on tables or tucked into napkins are frequently broken or accidentally thrown away. Be sure to keep your retainers away from dogs or other pets, as they will often try to chew on them. If you break or lose your retainer, please contact our office right away so that we can repair or replace it for you as soon as possible.

Remember – retainers are important to keep your new smile forever, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far!