Retention

When we remove your braces, the retention stage of your treatment begins. Orthodontic retainers keep teeth in the correct alignment and position after the braces have been removed. Retainers are also needed after treatment with Invisalign appliances. Without retainers there is a tendency for the teeth to go back to their earlier crooked positions. Retainers are designed to help ensure that your wonderful smile and all the beautifully aligned teeth stay exactly that way and do not shift or relapse.

Retainers fall into two basic categories, namely Removable retainers (Hawley or Essix retainers) and Fixed retainers.

Clear and Metal Retainers

Removable retainers are worn 12 hours a day to 24 hours a day for six months to one year, depending on what your orthodontist recommends. After that point, the retainers are worn every night. Most people are unaware that retainers are worn for as long as possible, or for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight!

If you totally stop wearing your retainer, even after a few years, your teeth may begin to move and shift. This is especially true if you have tongue thrust issues or have had extractions. Unless you want crooked teeth again, or want to go back into braces, wear your retainer regularly for the rest of your life -- at least a couple of nights each week. This ensures that your smile stays beautiful and healthy!.

  


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Fixed Retainers

Fixed upper and lower retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your anterior teeth. This is one of the best ways to prevent your front teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! However, fixed retainers require excellent hygiene and care, and only Dr. Noriega can determine if you are a good candidate for fixed retainers.

Patients with fixed lower 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 lower teeth as well as the wire.

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