When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you've put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Hawley (Removable) Retainers
The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and/or patterns.
Fixed (Bonded) Retainers
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual 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. If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.
Losing or breaking your retainers not only potentially jeopardizes your smile; it also adds expense for retainer repair or replacement. Therefore, it is important to treat your retainer with as much care as possible. Be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Until Dr. Surbeck instructs you otherwise, please wear your retainers at all times.
- Remove your retainer when you are eating.
- When not wearing your retainer, always put it in its case. If you wrap it in a napkin, it is likely to be accidentally thrown away!
- Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
- If you are having trouble speaking while wearing your retainer, just practice! Read aloud, talk on the phone or sing along to the radio to get used to your retainers!
- Be careful with your retainers because they can break easily. Call us if you accidentally break one of them.
- Please make an appointment if you think your retainer needs to be adjusted. Never do it yourself.
- Always bring your retainers with you to your follow-up appointments.
- Please remove your retainer if you are swimming.
- Do not put your retainer in hot or boiling water to clean it. It can melt! Also keep retainers away from hot car dashboards and out of the washing machine.
Remember, replacing your retainer is expensive! If you follow the above guidelines, your retainer can last for years!