Life After Braces

Once treatment is finished and you have a new, wickedly-awesome smile, you'll move into the retention stage of treatment.  This phase is both exciting and extremely important.  Retainers are a simple, effective way to keep your teeth straight and healthy for your entire life.  Up to this point it's been a team effort, but now the retention phase is up to YOU!


How Long Do I Have To Wear My Retainers?Dr. Jeff & Morgan

Retainers are worn full-time for the first 6 months and then only at night for as long as you want straight teeth (lifetime)!  Why is this you ask? When braces are finished, the 'ligaments' between our teeth have a 'memory' that wants to pull them back to their original positions. Retainers are needed to stabilize your teeth in their new, proper positions while the bones, gums, and ligaments reorganize.  

Ultimately, wearing retainers will be up to you.  If straight teeth are no longer healthy and fashionable in 2049, then by all means stop wearing them.  But if you want to maintain your great smile, wearing your retainers is the easy way to keep your smile looking its best!  


Types of Retainers

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place. 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.

Fixed Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire. If your retainer breaks at any time during the retention phase, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.

Essix Retainer

The Essix retainer is a clear removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Essix retainers have no metal wires and are virtually invisible. They are very durable, inexpensive and easy to wear.