Now that you have worked so hard for your smile, make sure you keep it looking beautiful.
Once your treatment is complete, you finally are able to have your braces removed and see that beautiful smile that our care and your diligence have achieved! Your teeth are positioned correctly, but your surrounding gums, bone, and muscle need time to adjust to the changes. A retainer ensures that your teeth remain exactly where you want them while your mouth adapts to its new healthier layout.
Retainers are custom-made and can either be removable or fixed in place.
- Removable retainers usually consist of two components: A metal wire that fits around the front teeth and an acrylic arch that forms into the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed to complete treatment.
- Fixed retainers hold their place in the mouth by wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While this device usually does not need to be in place for more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene, simplifying the care process.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily, so it’s important to keep your case on hand for safe keeping when the retainer is not in use.
- If you are worried about keeping track of the retainer or how many hours a day it must be worn, then a fixed option might be a better choice.
- Teeth equipped with fixed retainers need extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Floss threaders can be used to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth and ensure that they stay clean.