Retainers and Retention
Retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment. After your treatment is complete, you will enter into the retention phase of your treatment. Because it takes time for your teeth to become stable after treatment, they must be held in place for a period of time. Retainers are used after treatment to help maintain that great result you have achieved until surrounding bone, muscles, and gums adjust to the new position of your teeth. Teeth also experience age related changes which the retainers help guard against.
Types of Retainers
Retainers come in two forms, removable retainers and fixed retainers. Retainers are custom made for each patient using an impression of the newly straightened teeth.
The two types of removable retainers used at Central Lakes Orthodontics are the traditional Hawley retainer consisting of a wire that encases the upper anterior teeth and an acrylic portion that closely fits the roof of the mouth. A second type of removable retainer is a Vacuform retainer which is a thin, clear plastic that encases the teeth. Typically a Hawley retainer is used for the upper teeth immediately after treatment. Removable retainers are to be removed during eating, brushing, and sports. We strongly advise that removable retainers be worn during normal daily activity and sleep unless directed otherwise for the first year after treatment is complete. After one year we will decrease the amount of time the retainer is worn. Removable retainers can be removed to brush and floss but they are easy to lose and you have to remember to wear them!!