Retainers With Your O’Fallon & Florissant Orthodontist

Our doctors and our dental team at White Orthodontics know just how exciting it is to reach the end of your orthodontic treatment period! Whether you wore traditional metal braces or Invisalign, it’s a wonderful occasion to learn that you no longer have to wear braces on a daily basis. While you may begin to feel overjoyed that your journey towards a brilliant smile is finally complete, there’s still one more critical orthodontic phase left after your braces are removed – the retention phase.

As the main goal of traditional metal braces or Invisalign is to move your teeth into proper alignment, the goal of retention is to make sure that your teeth stay in their newly-obtained positions for years to come. By wearing your retainer on a regular basis - usually, overnight - your jaw will be able to get used to your newly positioned teeth and continuously form around them, keeping them in place day in and day out.

Why Is The Retention Phase Important?

Wearing your retainers post-braces will maintain accurate tension on your teeth, making sure they stay in their correct positions. It’s clinically proven that teeth can shift back to their original, crooked positions if you don’t wear a retainer each night following treatment. Conversely, it’s this exact mistake that often leads people to seek out Invisalign in the first place! Most adults who consider Invisalign treatment do so because they didn’t wear their retainers after first getting traditional metal braces, which caused their teeth to shift drastically.

Once you receive your retainers from White Orthodontics, you must wear them every night for the rest of your life. While this may seem extraordinarily tedious, your post-orthodontic treatment retainers will do more than just keep your teeth straight; they will also help protect your teeth from wear and tear due to issues such as nighttime teeth grinding. If you choose not to participate in the retention phase and a significant shift in your teeth takes place, your retainers will not properly fit and new retainers will need to be made. Drastic shifting might even require replacing your braces to realign your teeth again!

World-Class Retainers At White Orthodontics

Here at White Orthodontics, all of our orthodontic patients are required to wear retainers after traditional metal braces or Invisalign, and our staff is proud to offer a few different choices of retainers that you can select from:

1. Hawley Retainers (Removable)

Hawley retainers are perhaps the most common types of retainers. These retainers are removable and are made with a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic to ensure that your teeth remain snugly in place. Hawley retainers are created from impressions of your teeth to guarantee that it will fit comfortably in the roof of your mouth. If you’re interested in Hawley retainers post Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, or metal braces treatment, the acrylic can also be personalized to your liking with a wide variety of colors and patterns. Wearing removable retainers as prescribed by Dr. White or Dr. Hewitt is extremely important!

2. Bonded Retainers (Fixed)

Permanent or bonded retainers - otherwise known as fixed retainers - are small wires that are glued to the lingual (tongue side) of the teeth. These retainers are typically made from stainless steel and are placed on the teeth just right so they do not show when a patient smiles or talks. Most often, fixed retainers are only placed on the backs of the front six lower teeth, though sometimes they go on the backs of the upper teeth; some people even have them just for the two front teeth to keep a gap from reappearing. Fixed retainers are intended to stay in place indefinitely. These retainers are not harmful to the teeth if good oral hygiene is maintained.

Contact Your Florissant Family Orthodontist Today For Retention!

Keeping your smile straight after traditional metal braces or Invisalign is simple! If you wear your retainers every night, keep them sparkling clean, and visit your orthodontic professionals at White Orthodontics in Florissant or O’Fallon, MO on a regular basis, your teeth will remain straight for many years to come!

For any questions or concerns you may have about caring for your smile post-braces, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today! Additionally, we encourage all of our new patients to utilize our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you maintain a beautiful smile for the rest of your life!