Hooray! Your braces are off, and now on to the next phase of orthodontic treatment!

After undergoing the main phase of orthodontic treatment at Doctor Smiles Orthodontics, you’ve become the proud owner of a straighter, more confident smile. However, just because you’ve had your braces taken off, or have finished another form of orthodontic treatment like Invisalign, that doesn’t mean the work is done. In order to preserve your new smile you need to move on to the retention phase of orthodontic treatment.

You & Your Retainer

Maintaining the results you achieved during the main phase of orthodontic treatment is dependent on your use of retainers. Your orthodontist will create retainers that are custom made to fit your smile, and will provide you with personalized instructions for how to wear them.

This is your retention phase of treatment and it will last for a minimum of 12 months. However, ideally we would like you to continue wearing your retainers indefinitely. Your final orthodontic result depends on this phase, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in thus far by wearing your retainers as advised by your orthodontist.

Types of Retainers

Doctor Smiles Orthodontics offers three types of retainers for you to choose from:

Essix Retainer

The Essix retainer is a clear, removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. Some benefits of the Essix retainer include:

  • No Metal Wires
  • It’s Virtually Invisible
  • Easy to wear

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. It is removable and made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. This type of retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth, so it fits snugly and comfortably against the roof of your mouth while the wire and acrylic framing your teeth keep the retainers in perfect position.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers, or bonded lingual retainers, are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canine teeth. This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting, as the retainers are permanently attached. Just like with removable retainers, it is important to keep fixed retainers clean. Therefore, when brushing your teeth your orthodontist recommends carefully cleaning the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire. We also caution you to be careful with biting, as the bonding material may break. If your retainer breaks at any point during the retention phase of treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call our Tucson, AZ office immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.

Preserve Your Smile Today!

During the main phase of orthodontic treatment, you and your orthodontist work hard to earn you a beautiful, straight smile. Safeguard that hard work by wearing your retainers (as prescribed by your orthodontist). It is the best way to ensure that your straight new smile lasts a lifetime.

For questions regarding retention, braces, Invisalign, or another aspect of orthodontic treatment, contact the team at Doctor Smiles Orthodontics today—proudly serving patients across Tucson, AZ with all their smile needs.