After we remove the braces, we begin the retention phase of a patients’ treatment. The stability of the final orthodontic results depends on these retainers. They help to give the teeth the support they must have to remain in their new position.
Clear Removable Retainer
These clear removable trays fit over the upper and lower teeth and are virtually undetectable. These are worn full time for 3 to 4 months after the braces are removed. Then they still need to be worn every night.
Acrylic Removable Retainer
Unlike the clear retainers, these retainers have a thin wire that fits on the outside of the teeth. And the inside of the retainer is made of colored acrylic. These retainers can be personalized by choosing any of a number of unique colors.
These retainers are bonded behind the front teeth and will be left in place for as long as possible, especially the lower one. We have had these in many patients for over 5 years. These front teeth can shift very rapidly. That is why we usually use clear removable retainers in conjunction with these bonded retainers.
On our younger patients, after they have completed an initial phase of treatment but still have a number of permanent teeth to erupt, we use retainers that are cemented to the back molars. This eliminates the need for patient compliance in wearing them and the tendency to lose them, since they are permanently attached.
With any type of retainer, it is important to brush and floss as directed.