What do retainers do?
It’s natural for teeth to shift—whether you’ve undergone orthodontic treatment or not! Even though you completed your Invisalign or braces treatment, your teeth are still susceptible to shifting.
After wearing braces or Invisalign for an extended period of time, your teeth are used to the support of your treatment. Once they no longer have that support, they have a tendency to shift or wiggle out of alignment.
The reason you wear a retainer after braces is (quite literally) to retain your smile. A retainer supports your smile in its position and prevents it from reverting to its pre-treatment position.
When you enter the retention phase, Dr. King & Dr. Welch will instruct you to wear your retainer for 24 hours, throughout the day and night, to hold your new smile in place.
After two weeks of full-time wear, you’ll be able to wear your retainer only at night! You’ll wear it nights only for a lifetime to maintain your smile.
Types of Retainers
There are different types of retainers, including fixed retainers (permanent retainers) and removable retainers. A “fixed retainer” is permanently cemented to the teeth and is typically bonded to the back surface of the bottom and/or top teeth.
A “removable retainer” is a retainer that isn’t cemented to your teeth. The most common types of removable retainers are Hawley retainers, made out of high-quality acrylic, and Essix retainers, made out of high-quality plastic.
Hawley retainers have an acrylic center with wires that wedge between the teeth to hold the retainer in place. Essix retainers are similar to Invisalign and use clear plastic trays to cover the top and bottom teeth.
Your retainer is a part of your orthodontic treatment plan! Your first retainer won’t cost you any additional money and is included in your affordable payment plan. (If you lose or break your retainer, there may be a cost to fix it or replace it. Be sure to place your removable retainer in its carrying case every time you remove it from your mouth to prevent damaging or losing it!)
Still have questions about retainers?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. When you undergo orthodontic treatment with us, we will always explain everything you need to know about your treatment and your final retention phase! Patient education is one of our top priorities.
Ready to transform your smile with an exceptional orthodontist in Jupiter? Get started today by requesting a complimentary consultation for you or your child today.