When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. I'm often asked how long should I continue to wear my retainers/positioner? It varies with each individual, but after practicing orthodontics for over 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that retention is a lifetime commitment. Over time you can gradually reduce the number of nights they are worn. Five years from now, you may need to wear them only twice a week. Ten years from now, twice a month. But never throw them away. They are your insurance that you will maintain your smile.

Hawley Retainers

hawley.jpgThe 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.

Essix Retainers

essix_smaller.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 inexpensive and easier to wear. They can be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges.

Bonded Retainers

bonded-lingual-retainer.jpgBonded 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.