Your Orthodontic Treatment Is Over…Now What?
The day the braces come off is an amazing day for any orthodontic patient, but don’t get ahead of yourself, because now that you have the smile you’ve always wanted, you have to keep it. That means wearing your retainers as instructed by Dr. Curtis. The reason we need retainers in order to keep our teeth in their post-braces position is that it takes time for our teeth, gums, and jaw bones to get used to this new arrangement. So don’t slack off on wearing your retainers!
Retainers come in a few different varieties. Removable ones, whether wire and acrylic or clear plastic, have the obvious advantage that you can take them out, which makes it much easier to clean both the retainers and your teeth. However, that also means you might forget to put them back in — or, worse, lose them after taking them out to eat lunch!
Non-removable or bonded retainers are strips of wire cemented to the backs of the teeth to hold them in their post-braces position. These retainers have the advantage of permanently ensuring that your teeth don’t shift back to their old positions, but they can make flossing between those teeth tricky. If you think you’re likely to forget to wear your retainers, bonded might be the perfect choice for you.
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. They can be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges.
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.
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.
Retainers for Life Program
Become a member and never pay full price for a retainer again!
One retainer when you sign up.
A new retainer each year you renew your membership.
Unlimited replacement retainers during the year.
A digitally stored impression on file.
Skip the office visit when you lose or break your retainer!
Most retainers can be mailed to you to save you time!
Curtis Orthodontics Can Help You Keep Your Perfect Post-Braces Smile
Dr. Curtis will help you determine which type of retainer will be best to suit your treatment needs and comfort. If you have any questions about retention or the types of retainers available, just give us a call at 480-838-7410 or send us an email.