Chances are, you've seen adults with crooked teeth before. And chances are, these adults wore braces when they were younger. Many of us have heard that in order to maintain that amazing smile after orthodontic treatment, we'll need to wear retainers for awhile. The truth is, your teeth will move back to their "pre-braces places" if you stop wearing your retainers. Retainers must be worn indefinitely in order to keep your teeth aligned.
Types of Retainers
As part of your treatment plan, Dr. Bunce will provide you with retainers to maintain your "new" smile after your orthodontic treatment is complete. When you and Dr. Bunce are satisfied with your teeth, we will take an impression of them - creating a mold of the way they look at their peak of perfection. We will then create a set of clear retainers for you to pick up in the day or two following your "deband" appointment. These retainers are highly durable and can be worn for many years if taken care of.
Another retainer you may have seen is called a "Hawley Retainer," named after its inventor, Dr. Charles Hawley. It consists of a plastic arch that fits against your palate and snugly into the spaces between your teeth, and a metal wire that rests in front of the teeth. The combination of these elements keeps your teeth in alignment.
The third type of retainer Dr. Bunce offers is a bonded ("glued-in") retainer. This type of retainer is permanently fixed to the insides of your teeth. Unlike the clear and the Hawley retainers, this retainer cannot be removed. It is an excellent choice for patients who are "on the go," who will likely not remember to wear a removable retainer, or whose teeth tend to want to move very quickly.
Choosing the right retainer for your lifestyle protects the investment you've made in your smile. We will provide you with care instructions for the type (or types) you choose so that your retainer will continue to guard that investment for years!