You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!
Finally, your braces or aligners have been completed and your teeth are straight and your smile is beautiful! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, please wear your retainers to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are used after orthodontic treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed (bonded in place).
- Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth.
- Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to traditional wire retainers. This clear retainer fits over the entire arch of your teeth. It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
- Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind front teeth.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
- A fixed retainer is great if you don't want to keep track of it, or if you don't want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
- Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.