Wearing Retainers after Braces

After your braces are removed, you will enter the most important stage of your treatment, the retention phase. This final phase of wearing retainers can determine the success of your orthodontic results. Dr. Iaculli of East Cobb Orthodontics realizes the importance of wearing retainers after braces and he offers both fixed and removable options to suit your individual needs and preferences. We are dedicated to offering the latest, most advanced orthodontic treatment options available, ensuring our patients get the personalized and effective care they deserve.

Removable and Fixed Retainers

After braces, the teeth become more stable with time, but they will always want to relapse to their original malocclusion. Dr. Iaculli recommends that patients wear retainers faithfully for a minimum of three years or until all growth has completed for younger patients. East Cobb Orthodontics offers two types of retainers: removable and fixed. Your choice largely depends on your personal preferences, as there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Removable retainers are typically worn day and night for approximately three months after braces are removed. The schedule then reduces to twelve hours per twenty-four hours for three months and then eight hours per day for a minimum of three years. The removable retainers provide a nice index for the patient to assess any change. If the retainer is tight when inserted, the teeth are moving. The retainer is then worn every night until it is no longer tight. If a patient can commit to following the recommended instructions for wearing a removable retainers as well as keeping up with the appliance, this option can be very convenient and successful. If a removable retainer is neglected for a period of time, the teeth may shift and a new retainer will need to be made.

Fixed retainers may be round or flat wires that are bonded to the back of the teeth. These retainers are very popular because the patient does not have to remember to wear the retainers, there is no concern about losing them, and the teeth stay straight. The most common problem with orthodontic relapse is with the front teeth and a fixed retainer prevents this. A clear overlay retainer for nighttime wear is provided with the fixed retainers.

The primary disadvantage of fixed retainers is difficulty with flossing. Some oral irrigators, e.g., the Hydro Floss, can help remove plaque and reduce the need to thread floss, but they have to be used regularly. You also have to be careful not to bite into hard foods with fixed retainers or they will bend, break, or come loose.

We understand that wearing braces has required hard work to gain the results you desire, and we want to retain your new straight smile to the best of our ability. Contact us today to discuss your best option for orthodontic retention. We offer high quality and custom-made retainers for both children and adults.