What is The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer After Orthodontic Treatment? The big day is here and your braces are finally coming off! Does that mean you are completely done? Not so fast! After you complete your treatment at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, our team will recommend you wear a retainer. Retainers must be worn every night for the first year in order to hold your teeth in their proper, new position while your gums, ligaments, and bones adapt. It is important to know there are different types of retainers, and today we would like to explain the differences between them,
The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. It is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wire and acrylic that typically surrounds the six anterior teeth and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth. The wire and acrylic framing keeps your teeth in an ideal position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors or patterns.
Essix (clear) Retainers
The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. This clear retainer is produced from a mold of your teeth. Similar to Invisalign’s clear aligners, Essix retainers have no metal or wires. They can also be used to produce minor tooth movements and can be helpful in the prevention of tooth wear due to grinding at night.
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside of the surface of your lower canines and anterior teeth. Our team at Dunegan Orthodontics encourages our patients with bonded lingual retainers to be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause your teeth to shift. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep your bonded retainers clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth, as well as the wire itself.
The retention phase of treatment begins as soon as the braces are removed. Retainers are worn nightly for the first year. Typically, after one year the doctor will recommend you switch to every other night. Retainers should be worn for a lifetime to ensure your teeth never shift.
If you have any questions about the retainers we offer or to learn more about post-orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact a Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics team member. We will be happy to answer any of your questions!