Once your orthodontic treatment is complete and your braces are removed, whether they’re traditional braces, Invisalign®, or Invisalign for Teens, it’s time for the retention phase!
We will custom-create a removable retainer for you to wear once your appliances are removed. Wearing your removable retainer is extremely important for maintaining your new, beautiful smile!
The purpose of your retainers are to hold your teeth in the straight, aligned position we created through your orthodontic treatment. When your braces or Invisalign is removed, your teeth and gums want to revert back to exactly where they came from. We say nighttime for a lifetime with our retainers!
Without your retainers to reinforce the new position of your teeth, you will lose the results you worked so hard for!
Along with your removable retainer, you can also request a permanent retainer, bonded to the back surface of your bottom teeth. This permanent, or fixed, retainer appears as a piece of thin metal glued behind your teeth. We use a bonding solution to cement your retainer in place, preventing the bottom teeth from drifting apart or shifting out of alignment. We ask you to wear your removable retainer over this bonded retainer each and every night.
Now that you understand how imperative your retainers are for preserving your beautiful smile, is a permanent retainer really permanent?
Permanent retainers are intended to be permanent, but they can also be removed at any time! Your retainer can stay bonded in place for decades, as long as you care for it properly. Sometimes it can come unglued from the teeth in which case you need to wear your removable retainer full time until you can come in to see us and get it fixed.
Hygiene is extremely important when it comes to a fixed retainer. You must floss thoroughly between each tooth within your retainer to prevent bacteria and tartar buildup from progressing into gum disease. There are many flossing tools available that are adapted to permanent retainers. These tools allow you to pull floss through the retainer to maintain your fantastic tooth and gum health!
“There are no dangers to having a permanent retainer if it’s cleaned well. The metal and bonding materials are safe. Patients can also choose to have it removed at any time if they decide that a removable retainer is more their style or if they are not cleaning it properly,” says Dr. Caudill.