Southbury, Waterbury & Surrounding Areas
You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!
Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.
- Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
- Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer may fit over the entire arch of your teeth, or only from canine to canine (clip-on retainer). It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
- Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is usually required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
- A fixed retainer is great if you don't want to keep track of it, or if you don't want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
- Fixed retainers can break and will need maintenance over the years
- Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.
- Too often retainers are lost by placing them somewhere other than your case. If you're out on the town in Southbury or Waterbury and leave your retainer in a napkin of one of the great restaurants nearby it may find it's way to the trashcan.
- If you lose your retainer call either our Southbury or Waterbury/Middlebury location as soon as possible.
- If you lose your retainer over the weekend or the office is close, we recommend purchasing a Boil-and-bite mouthguard and wearing it during the day as much as possible (do NOT sleep in it) until you can see us.
Common Questions About Retainers
- How Long Do I Have To Wear My Retainer?
- If you had your orthodontic treatment with braces you will be instruced to wear your retainers full time (taking them out only to eat and brush) for 8 weeks followed by a lifetime of wear during sleeping hours
- How Do I Clean My Retainer?
- The best way to clean your orthodontic retainer is with a toothbrush and an orderless and dye free dish-soap.
- We recommend that you don't use toothpaste as the fine abrasives in toothpaste can damage the retainer over time.
- What Are Orthodontic Retainers For?
- Teeth will move back to their starting position without the use of retainers. As we age the pressures of the soft tissues on the teeth change and tooth movement can occur also. Even if you did not have orthodontics your teeth may shift as you age.
- How long Will My Retainers Last?
- With good care a retainer can easily last 5-10 years
- How Much Do Retainers Cost?
- Your retainers are included in your braces or clear aligner treatment. Replacement retainers or backup retainers are availible and their cost depends on the material used.