The retention phase of your orthodontic treatment begins once your braces are removed or you have completed treatment with any other orthodontic appliance.
Retention focuses on ensuring that your new smile remains as-is both now and for the rest of your life.
Preventing Tooth Movement
Your teeth have just been moved into their proper positions with your orthodontic treatment. However, the bone around your tooth roots, and the roots themselves, are still susceptible to moving out of place and back into their original positions. With a retention phase, you can ensure that your straight smile stays that way.
Maintaining Good Oral Health
Straight teeth make it easier to maintain good oral health with regular brushing and flossing. By keeping your teeth straight after your orthodontic treatment, you can more easily maintain good oral health throughout your life.
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The retention phase of your treatment is one that will last a lifetime.
Once you have completed your allotted treatment time, and your smile is as you want it, our orthodontist will remove any orthodontic appliances, such as braces, that you wore during your treatment.
After your braces or other orthodontic appliances are removed, you will be fitted for a retainer. This typically happens during the same appointment. Our team will clean your teeth, take X-rays and scan your mouth or use bite impressions to create a mold for your retainer. We will then use the specifications and impressions to recommend which type of retainer is right for you, and to create it.
Your retention phase typically begins with a six-month period where you wear your retainer all day, every day. During this initial phase, you can remove your retainer to eat as well as brush and floss your teeth. Our orthodontist will inform you how long you need to wear your retainer every day, and how long this initial phase will last. After this initial period, you will need to wear you retainer nightly to help keep your new smile for life.
It is important to care for your retainer, as you will need it for the rest of your life. You can clean your retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste or soap, rinsing it in cool water. Avoid using hot water, or keeping your retainer in a hot area, such as on the car dashboard, as this could cause the retainer to warp its shape. When you are not wearing your retainer, keep it safe in its case. If your retainer becomes damaged or lost, our orthodontist can provide you with a new one.
Types of Retainers
We offer several types of retainers to help you maintain your straight smile for life.
These retainers are made up of a metal wire framework and clasps that wrap around your teeth. The wires and clasps are attached to a durable plastic body. If your retainer is for the upper jaw, the plastic body covers the roof of the mouth. If your retainer is for the lower jaw, the plastic body lies along the tongue side of the teeth.
Clear retainers are made of durable, clear plastic. They are custom-made to match your unique bite. They fit snuggly and comfortably for maximum effectiveness. Clear retainers are more discreet than Hawley retainers, but they can be more easily damaged.
This type of retainer is also known as a permanent retainer or bonded retainer. Fixed retainers are made up of a small piece of wire that is glued to the back side of the front teeth. Typically, fixed retainers are attached to the lower teeth, but they can also be attached to the upper teeth.
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