Your braces moved your teeth into their ideal alignment through the course of multiple adjustment sessions. This will provide you with a functional mouth and appealing smile for many years to come. If your braces are about to be removed, you will most likely need to wear a retainer.
This will help keep the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth from pulling them back into their old alignment. How long you need to wear a retainer will vary. Most people need to wear some type of retainer for the same duration as you wore your braces.
There are three different types of retainers. Your orthodontist will recommend which one is right for you.
The most common type of retainer is a Hawley. It is thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic is custom fitted to the shape of your mouth. It is removable but when worn it is anchored in place by a set of wires that interlock with specific teeth.
A clear plastic retainer is for people that required only minor alignment from their braces. They are made from a durable plastic that custom matches the shape of your teeth and bite. These retainers are popular with adults because they aren’t as noticeable to the casual observer. Let your orthodontist know if you grind your teeth as this could potentially damage the retainer.
A fixed retainer is more common with people who required a great deal of adjustment in their lower teeth. This is essentially a durable wire retainer that is cemented in place behind the teeth. Interdental brushes and dental water jets are handy tools for cleaning around these retainers.
If you are going to have braces removed and you have questions about what type of retainer is right for you please call us at (978) 454-0977 to schedule an appointment.