Congratulations! The time has come when you have finished your braces or Invisalign treatment, and you finally have the smile you have always wanted!
So what happens next…? Your retention phase!
Retainers play a vital role in your orthodontic treatment. They hold the teeth in the position where we placed them during treatment. Teeth have a natural tendency to move after treatment, particularly in the direction of their original position. This is called a relapse. Retainers function is to keep a relapse from occurring, so that your hard work, time, and money spent on orthodontics wasn’t wasted.
Many of us know someone whose teeth have shifted as a result of not wearing their retainers. Most patients who don’t follow through with retainer wear end up back in braces or Invisalign to correct the relapse that has taken place.
When talking about retainers, our patients tend to have a few questions. Some of the frequently asked questions are as follows:
At Just for Grins Orthodontics, our preferred choice of retainer is the essix clear removable retainer. But you may be curious as to why our orthodontists choose this retainer, so let’s discuss the pros and cons of each type of retainer.
Removable retainers are created using your digital smile file – which we get from a quick scan using our iTero intraoral scanner. These retainers have an exact fit and hold all of your teeth in position. Dr. Dunn or Dr. Schreiber will instruct you to wear these all night long after treatment completion. Retainers are a lifelong commitment.
If you’re wondering “how long do retainers last”, you may be surprised that many of our patients, with proper care, can get up to 10 years of wear with a set of retainers before needing to replace them!
On occasion, we have our patients ask about “permanent retainers.” They may have had one before, or either know someone who has one currently. A fixed retainer consists of a wire that is bonded behind your lower front six teeth to help hold teeth in place. This area is where relapse is most likely to occur.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.
And we mean it. Our patients are our top priority and we strive to go above and beyond your expectations. We don't just help you find your smile, we earn it.