Once your active orthodontic appliances are removed, we will provide a set of upper and lower retainers to stabilize the dental correction. The bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth require time to stabilize and it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth and could necessitate re-treatment. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainer wear, so it is crucial to follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainers before eating and brushing, and to clean your retainers before placing them back in your mouth.
The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and patterns.
Essix (Clear) Retainers
The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth, similar in appearance and fit to an Invisalign® aligner.
How retainers are worn
Teeth, like most other parts of the body, are not static and will have a tendency to shift throughout life. As a result, we recommend that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy wear retainers indefinitely. During the retention phase of treatment, patients are seen periodically for retainer adjustments and Dr. Hirsch will determine how often you should be wearing your retainers at any given time. A typical retainer wear protocol involves full time wear initially, followed by night wear only, with the long term goal of wearing the retainers for just a few nights a week.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
Patients with certain pre-existing orthodontic problems, such as severely rotated teeth or severe spacing between the teeth, may benefit from a fixed retainer at the completion of active treatment. This is a small piece of wire bonded behind the affected teeth to aid in stability. Other patients simply prefer this option to the removable retainers. Dr. Hirsch will determine whether you are a good candidate for a bonded retainer.
We strive to provide you with a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime, and your cooperation by wearing your retainers is essential to helping us achieve this goal!