Braces and Invisalign are only part of the journey to a great smile. The other part is the maximum use of the retainer appliance. Your retention phase must last at least twelve (12) months and based on the specific retention appliance, results vary. Your overall orthodontic result is almost always dependent on your retention.
Post Braces Retainers
These are the retainer options we offer (each appliance depends on the patient’s treatment).
These guys are traditional. Hawley’s are the standard appliances for retention. Hawley retainers are made of an acrylic plate that rests at the roof and/or the floor of your mouth with an archwire on the front of your teeth to keep things in place. They must be worn a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day. Hawley’s should be brushed with toothpaste just like your teeth and may also be submerged in recommended cleaning solutions. Best of all they come in all colors.
Trutain’s are a bit different from the Hawley’s in that they engage or “hold” your teeth much like Invisalign®. And yes, they are clear. Trutain retainers fit around your teeth to keep them from misaligning and moving. For those who would like a more aesthetic retention treatment, these may be just for you. Like Hawley’s, a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day of wear is still required but cleaning and caring for Trutain’s are a bit different; they should be cleaned with soap and water but should not be brushed.
Fixed Lingual Retainers
These might sometimes be necessary. Unfortunately, as mentioned in its name, this is fixed unlike the Hawley’s and Trutain’s. They are placed on the inside of your teeth close to the tongue. Wearing fixed lingual retainers require the same care and good oral hygiene as do braces. They require brushing after meals and snacks and flossing at night. Avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods. On the bright side and best of all, fixed linguals cannot be seen!
Positioners are typically prescribed when braces come off. They are made of a rubbery material and is worn at night and for several hours during the day. During the day, the patient is required to squeeze the teeth together into the tooth positioner. The positioner is typically worn for 3-6 months, after which time traditional retainers will be made.
Night guards are devices that fit onto the upper or lower jaw. They guard the positioning of your teeth throughout the night. Night guards (sometimes spelled “nightguards”) are also known as bite splints, bite planes, mouth guards, and occlusal splints.