When you receive orthodontic treatment like braces, you want the results to last. The retention phase of treatment keeps your teeth in their new positions so you can maintain your beautiful smile.
At Unger Orthodontics, we create customized retainers to ensure your teeth stay straight and healthy after treatment.
What are teeth retainers used for?
Retainers are orthodontic devices designed to hold your teeth in place. Orthodontists typically prescribe retainers after braces treatment to help maintain the new positions of your teeth. In some cases, a patient may wear a retainer to move a single tooth or close a gap between two teeth.
Retainers can also be used to treat tongue thrust — a condition where the tongue presses too far forward when speaking, swallowing and resting. Retainers can be specially designed to train the tongue not to push forward.
Types of dental retainers
Depending on your specific needs, we’ll recommend one of the following types of teeth retainers:
A Hawley retainer is a removable option comprising an acrylic arch and a metal wire. It is custom-made, so the arch fits comfortably in the roof of your mouth and the wire holds your teeth in place. We may adjust the wire periodically to ensure your teeth remain in their proper positions.
A fixed retainer — also known as a lingual retainer — is permanently attached to the back of your bottom front teeth. It usually consists of a single wire cemented in place. Fixed retainers are typically used when your teeth have moved quickly or substantially.
Mouth retainer care
Proper mouth retainer maintenance is essential to keeping your teeth in alignment and preventing plaque, bacteria and tartar buildup. You can follow a few simple maintenance tips based on the type of retainer you have.