Maintain Your Smile with Custom-Fit Retainers
Once you are out of braces, showing off your beautiful straight smile, it is important to remember that your teeth will move back to their prior position without proper retainer wear. We will fit you with an individualized retainer because your teeth will not stay straight if you do not wear your retainers as instructed. While the bone around the teeth can remodel in days, the gums and fibers supporting the teeth take around nine months to remodel in the new position. Even teeth that have not been moved with orthodontics will move from the force of biting, clenching, or grinding, so it is imperative to wear your retainers as instructed upon completing your treatment.
Immediately following your treatment, you will be asked to wear your retainers full-time, 24/7, only removing them to eat and brush, for a limited time, usually 8 weeks. After that time, Dr. Hough will tell you when you can start to wear your retainers only at nighttime. Retainers are a lifetime commitment. While you will reach a time when it won’t be as critical to wear your retainers every night, the retainers are your best tool to keep your teeth straight after braces. At no point in time will you ever stop wearing your retainers completely!
What if I lose or break my retainer?
If you lose or break your retainers, call the office immediately so we can make arrangements to repair or make new retainers before your teeth shift. If you wait, you may undo the work of your orthodontic procedures and need to start over!
What if the retainer doesn’t keep my teeth straight?
If your teeth have begun to shift and start to misalign again, sometimes, we can straighten your teeth with a special removable appliance, but sometimes we must use braces for a short time to ensure straight teeth. After Dr. Hough sees you, he will be able to determine what is needed to correct the shifting.
Different Retainers for Your Lifestyle
There are numerous types of retainers to suit each patient’s needs: glued-in permanent retainers, clear tray retainers, and plastic and wire retainers.
Each retainer has its own unique benefits. Once patients finish treatment and are ready to finish the active phase of orthodontic treatment (when the braces come off and retainers go on), Dr. Hough will make a recommendation to help you decide which retainers are right for you.
- Clear retainers are a great alternative to show off that great smile while holding your teeth in their new straight position. These smaller clear retainers are easy to wear and you will get used to them very quickly.
- Wire retainers allow patients to get creative and choose colors to make them more personal.
- Permanent bonded retainers have the benefit of being in place all the time behind your teeth. However, you must continue to limit certain foods and cleaning is more difficult.
At Hough Orthodontics, we have our very own laboratory on site in our office, drastically limiting wait times for retainers and allowing for more unique customization!