Orthodontic Retention

Keep Your Beautiful Smile

Your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful and straight, but your orthodontic journey isn’t complete. To keep your teeth in their newly aligned positions, you’ll have to wear a retainer to maintain your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position that are caused by pressure from the lips, cheeks, and tongue. Retainers are used after orthodontic treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bones, and muscles adjust to the new positions of your teeth. Retainers also keep your teeth from shifting long-term as a result of changes to your facial and dental structures as you age.

Types Of Retainers

Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed. Certain retainers are better for specific orthodontic issues so Dr. Courtney will prescribe the retainer that is best for your unique situation.

  • Hawley retainers are traditional removable retainers that typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to acrylic that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted as needed.
  • Essix retainers, or clear retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more cosmetic alternative to wire retainers. It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
  • Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is not intended to be permanent, it is often kept in place for many years after treatment.

Retainer Instructions

  • Wear your retainer all day and night, until Dr. Courtney instructs otherwise.
  • Wear your retainer at bedtime indefinitely (or for as long as you want to maintain straight teeth) after Dr. Courtney has decreased your retainer wear from full time.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth it should be in the case! (Too many times people wrap them in a tissue and throw them away.)
  • Keep your retainer away from pets.
  • Clean the retainer thoroughly with a toothbrush and toothpaste and warm water (but not hot). Occasionally, effervescent denture cleaners can be used.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us the next business day.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us the next business day. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!

Southern Smiles is the premier choice for orthodontics in Roanoke Rapids, NC. Call (252) 365-4234 to take the first step to the smile you always wanted!

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