Life With Retainers
Retainers are one of the most important parts of your treatment! Once you have achieved a beautiful, healthy smile with braces or aligners, your teeth need an appliance to hold them in place, or they will move back toward their original position. This is where retainers come in! Dr. McKinney will choose the best type of retainer for your continued treatment and give you specific instructions on how often it should be worn to maintain your new smile.
Bonded retainers are made from a wire that is glued to your teeth on the backside (where your tongue touches them). Our patients love this type of retainer because it’s virtually invisible! Your teeth are held in place discreetly, allowing you to show off your new smile.
Maintaining great dental hygiene is important with bonded retainers. Generally, you can eat and drink anything you like, but you will have to watch for sticky or hard debris getting caught behind the wire. Patients should consistently brush their teeth and floss around the retainer using a floss threader or water flosser.
This type of retainer is made from molded plastic and metal, and it is custom formed to comfortably fit the roof of your mouth. Hawley retainers are very durable, extremely effective at protecting your new smile, and can be quickly removed and replaced for eating all of your favorite foods!
It is very important that Hawley retainers be cleaned consistently. Poor hygiene can lead to bacteria growth on the retainer surface. Hawley retainers should be removed and brushed morning and evening with a toothbrush and cool water.
Essix retainers are made from clear, flexible plastic and look similar to clear aligners. They are molded and fit snugly over your teeth for comfortable wear and a subtle appearance. Like Hawley retainers, Essix retainers should be removed for eating and drinking, and should be brushed twice daily with a toothbrush and cool water.
If your retainer breaks or becomes damaged in any way, be sure to let our office know as quickly as possible, so that we can begin the replacement process. The longer you go without wearing a retainer, the greater the chance of your teeth moving out of place!