We’re so excited for your beautiful new smile to be revealed! The day you get your braces off or you take your Invisalign® clear aligners out for the last time is the day your retention phase begins.
If you want to keep your new smile in its best condition for years to come, it’s incredibly important that you wear retainers after braces or Invisalign.
At your final appointment, Dr. Wiewiora or Dr. Dunn will tell you everything you need to know about the final phase of your orthodontic treatment. For now, here’s an overview of what to expect with your retainer.
What Do Retainers Do?
Retainers solidify all of the hard work you put into your treatment. Your retainer will support your new smile by holding your teeth in their final position, preventing them from “relapsing” or shifting back to their original, pre-treatment position.
During the first few months of your retention stage, your teeth are at an increased risk of relapsing. For the entirety of your orthodontic treatment, your teeth had the consistent support of your braces or clear aligners. Once that support is gone, your teeth have a tendency to shift.
Your braces retainer prevents this tendency to shift, ensuring that your new smile maintains a healthy, beautiful alignment.
Types of Retainers
There are two main types of retainers—permanent retainers and removable retainers.
Fixed or Permanent Retainers
Permanent retainers are bonded (or cemented) to the teeth. These retainers include a small metal wire, custom-designed to fit behind the teeth. They’re generally bonded to the back surface of the bottom teeth, but can also be used behind the top teeth depending on your condition.
Typically, fixed retainers will remain in place for a lifetime to ensure that your teeth don’t shift out of alignment.
Removable retainers can be taken out of your mouth and placed back in as often as you need. The main types of removable retainers are Hawley retainers and Essix retainers.
The Hawley retainer has metal wires with an acrylic center that sits in the roof of the mouth. An Essix retainer is similar to Invisalign; it’s a clear retainer, custom-made to cover the front and back surfaces of the teeth.
When you or your child’s treatment is coming to an end, your orthodontist will explain the different types of retainers to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle!
How long do retainers last?
Your removable retainer can last up to 10 years with proper care! Permanent retainers can last decades to a lifetime.
How often do I wear my retainer?
Once your braces are removed or your Invisalign treatment comes to an end, you’ll be instructed to wear your retainer at night. If it becomes difficult to fit your retainer in your mouth or you feel that your teeth have shifted, then it’s important that you increase your wear.
Think of it this way—wearing your retainer is far more pleasant than undergoing another orthodontic treatment!
How much do retainers cost? Because your dental retainer is a part of your orthodontic treatment plan, it’s included in your affordable payment plan! Unless you damage or lose your retainer, there won’t be an additional retainer cost.
At the end of your braces or Invisalign treatment, you’ll receive your custom-designed, removable retainer. To keep it in great shape, we advise you to store your retainer in your designated carrying case every time you take it out of your mouth. This should prevent you from losing or damaging your retainer!
Have questions about retainers for teeth?
If you have any questions about proper retainer wear or care, we encourage you to reach out to us! We’re here to answer all of your questions and we want you to know your options.
We’re here to help guide you throughout your treatment process, every step of the way.
Ready to begin your smile transformation process? Let’s get started with your complimentary exam in Longwood or Lake Mary!