You've worked hard for your Spectacular Smile!
Keep it that way!
Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful and straight!
However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll need to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position.
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.
- 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. Their main advantage is their long life! If you take care of them, they can last you a lifetime!
- Clear Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. However, these retainers may break more easily and may require remakes more often.
- Fixed ("glued") retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. These retainers are often kept in place for life so it is very important to keep excellent oral hygiene if you choose these retainers. If they become loose, they can be reglued or you may decide to go to removable retainers instead.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily, 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 extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.