Congratulations you just got your braces off! This is one of the most exciting things we do as Orthodontists. Seeing the pure joy when someone looks at their perfect smile for the first time never gets old! Once active treatment is complete comes arguably the most important part of orthodontic treatment – retention.
Retainers are necessary no matter what type of orthodontic treatment you have had. Whether it is Invisalign or braces retainers are needed to maintain all that hard work. Retainers can be either removable or fixed. Removable retainers are often clear plastic retainers or Hawley (plastic and wire) retainers
Fixed retainers can be top or bottom. They slightly vary based on the number of teeth they are glued to as well as the type of wire used.
There are pros and cons to each but at the end of the day retainers need to be worn forever… or as long as you want to keep your teeth straight! One of the most common complaints with retainers is that they do not last forever. We frequently have patients coming in with retainers worn out or broken. Replacement retainers come with a cost but maintaining the investment in your smile is worth it. Unfortunately, we also see people who do not have the time to come in.