When You Finish Treatment
Completed orthodontic treatment does not guarantee perfectly straight teeth for the rest of your life. You will need to wear retainers to protect your investment in a beautiful smile!
You must wear your Essix retainers as instructed or teeth may relapse (shift), in addition to other adverse effects. Regular retainer wear is often necessary for several years following orthodontic treatment. However, changes after that time can occur due to natural causes, including habits such as tongue thrusting, mouth breathing, and growth and maturation that continue throughout life. Most people will experience some minor settling of the teeth over time; this is completely normal.
Your correction can be retained with good retainer wear. We will supervise the first year of your retention. These visits are included in the original treatment fee. Working together, we can get the maximum lifetime benefits from your investment of time, money, and effort.
The Hawley retainer, one of the most common type of retainers, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. It is designed to keep your teeth in place, and can be adjusted to correct some very minor spacing. 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 Retainer
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surfaces of your lower front teeth. This is a great way to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is bonded into place. However, some patients may not be candidates for this type of retainer. 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.