Retention

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Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful and straight! However, your job continues in maintaining this smile. You will have to wear retainers to stabilize your teeth. Retainers are used after orthodontic treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. Changes occur over time with tooth position and the only way to limit this movement is by faithfully wearing your retainers.

Hawley Retainers

The 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.

Bonded Lingual Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower front six 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.

Essix Retainers

The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Essix retainers are used primarily to retain teeth in patients with a history of clenching and grinding. Because they have no wires, they have limited adjustability and therefore must be worn faithfully.