Congratulations on the removal of your braces!! We think your smile is fantastic and hope that you do as well. The active phase of your orthodontic treatment is now complete and a very important new phase is beginning. Because your teeth move throughout life, it is very important to maintain your new smile by wearing your retainers faithfully.
What are Retainers?
Orthodontic retainers are custom-made devices made of wires and acrylic that hold teeth in position after your Braces or Invisalign has ended.
Why is it important to wear your Retainers?
It can take at least 4-6 months for the new position of your teeth to become permanent. During this time and beyond, your teeth will try to shift back to their original position. This shifting of teeth after Orthodontic treatment is called relapse. So make sure you wear your retainers everyday for the first 6 months after your treatment ends and then every night for the rest of your life!
Types of Orthodontic Retainers
Removable Hawley Retainers
Removable retainers are made of thin metal wire and plastic or acrylic shaped to fit the roof of your mouth or along the inside of your lower teeth.
Invisible retainers, also known as occlusal guards, are clear removable retainers. This type of retainer not only holds teeth in place, but they also act as whitening trays and protect enamel from grinding (bruxism).
A permanent retainer, also known as a bonded retainer, is a type of metal retainer wire that is glued to the back of your teeth to prevent shifting. While this device works wonderfully to prevent shifting, Dr. Bussick recommends a combination of retainers to maintain straight teeth.
Lingual Holding Arch
A lingual holding arch is placed to maintain space created during Phase I treatment. When the 12 year molars erupt, then the holding arch is removed and phase II treatment can begin. This purpose of this device is to hold the teeth in place while we wait on the rest of the adult teeth to erupt.
Twin Block Retainer
A twin block appliance is one of two types of retainers delivered after the removal of Phase I braces. The twin block appliance encourages the lower jaw to grow in a forward direction by advancing the jaw and stabilizing it until you are ready for Phase II treatment.