Retainers are extremely important following successful orthodontic treatment. Studies have shown movement of teeth can happen over period of years, even without any prior orthodontic treatment.
So following orthodontic treatment retainers are typically worn with following schedule:
- First 2 years after orthodontic treatment – 10-12 hours night time wear
- After 2 years for the rest of life – 2-3 nights/week just at sleep time
- American Association of Orthodontics recommends life time retention as best practice.
Types of Retainer:
Hawley retainers are used following the removal of braces. They aid in allowing the teeth to settle into their new position in the jaw. They consist of wire and acrylic and come in a multitude of colors and designs. They are custom made for each patient following the removal of the braces.
Essix retainers are clear retainers that are worn following the removal of the braces. They are popular because they are nearly invisible and are very durable. They are custom made for each patient following the removal of the braces.
A bonded retainer consists of a braided wire that is glued to the backside of the lower anterior teeth. It is used in place of a removable retainer and is placed following the removal of one’s braces. They are popular because one does not have to remember to put a retainer in the mouth.