When you finish your orthodontic treatment, you are excited to be free of the appliances you’ve had to put up with—brackets, wires, aligners, and so on. We want you to enjoy your new smile as much as possible - however, that means you need to wear… retainers. (Dun dun dun!)
After your treatment, we will give you a retainer that will be custom-made to fit your smile. Dr. Hallman will give you instructions for how and when to wear this retainer, beginning what we call your “retention phase.” It can last from a few months to a year. But, while that is the prescribed time for the phase, you should really wear your retainer past that. Maybe not with the same consistency Dr. Hallman initially recommended, but at least with some regularity.
Why do I have to wear my retainer?
Even if you’ve had the best orthodontic treatment possible, over time your teeth will start to shift toward their original positions. This is because your gum fibers will slowly, but consistently try and pull your teeth back to where they once were. Additionally, as you age your facial skeletal structure changes, and your teeth experience natural wear. As a result, the perfectly straight smile you leave the orthodontist with could become un-straightened over time, your teeth becoming a victim to a crowding relapse. This is why we see many adults coming back to us after having braces as a kid - they stopped wearing their retainer and their teeth shifted.
When do I have to wear my retainer?
While we may prescribe consistent retainer wear for the official retention phase of orthodontic treatment, past that we recommend wearing your retainer at night as often as possible for as long as possible. This will make the difference in preserving your straight smile for the future.
What kind of retainers can I get?
We have a offers different types of retainers to meet your smile retention needs, including:
Hawley Retainers (acrylic piece on the palette, wire across the teeth)
Essix Retainers (clear aligner-looking retainers)
Fixed Bonded Retainers
A Lifetime of Straight Smiles
We are dedicated to helping you attain a straight, beautiful smile. Once that’s done, we encourage you to take pride in your smile by doing your part to maintain it throughout the rest of your life. Wear your retainer as often as you can past the recommended retention phase and your teeth will be less likely to shift back to their old positions. Retention is for life!!