Dental instruments next to retainersFollowing active orthodontic treatment with braces or aligners is the critical phase of orthodontics known as retention. Retainers hold teeth in their new position for long-term stability. Retainer selection is unique for every patient depending on presentation of their bite before and after treatment. We monitor our patients during the retention phase for 24 months then advocate life-long retainer wear while sleeping to ensure the best orthodontic results.

Permanent Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are wires that are cemented directly to the inside surfaces of the front teeth to maintain alignment and prevent teeth from shifting. These retainers are considered permanent because they are fixed to the teeth, however, they are not indestructible. 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 teeth as well as the wire. Flossing daily is important to prevent calculus, or tartar, build up. Not every patient is a candidate for upper and lower permanent retainers.

Removable Retainers

In addition to permanent retainers, removable retainers are used to maintain position of the back teeth as well as proper bite relationships. We offer two different types of removable retainers depending on the individual case:

  • Hawley retainer: includes a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth with an acrylic plate
  • TruTain retainer: a clear, plastic retainer that covers the chewing surfaces of the teeth

Removable retainers must be handled very carefully, as they are fragile and costly to replace. While not being worn, retainers should be kept in the provided retainer case at all times to prevent loss or damage. Keep retainers away from animals and hot surfaces as well.

Retainers can be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste. We do not recommend wearing removable retainers during contact sports, but instead will fabricate a custom mouthguard to protect your new smile.

Curious about whether you would be a good candidate? We’d be happy to explore your options during a free initial consultation. Call us at (614) 888-4577 to set up your appointment.

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