After Braces

Experience the exhilaration of unveiling your new smile as the braces come off – a moment cherished by many. At Derek Damon Orthodontics, serving Bellingham and Anacortes, we understand the profound impact of this milestone. Yet, beyond this jubilant occasion lies the vital phase of retention. As your dedicated orthodontic partner, we’re here to shed light on retention’s significance in preserving your newfound smile.

Understanding Retention

Retention marks the pivotal phase following orthodontic treatment, where patients utilize a custom-made oral appliance known as a retainer. Tailored to your unique smile, retainers serve as guardians, preventing teeth from reverting to their former positions.

Why Retainers Are Essential

You may wonder, “If my teeth are straight, why the need for a retainer?” The answer lies in the dynamic nature of tooth positioning. Following orthodontic adjustment, teeth require time to stabilize within the jawbone. Without a retainer, the risk of relapse looms large, jeopardizing the outcome of your treatment journey.

Upon completing your orthodontic treatment, retainer fitting typically coincides with brace removal. Following meticulous teeth cleaning, we may conduct additional assessments to gauge treatment efficacy and wisdom tooth development before initiating retainer fabrication.

Types of Retainers

Retainers come in various forms, each tailored to specific needs:

  1. Hawley Retainer: A classic choice, the Hawley retainer comprises a thin, acrylic piece molded to your mouth’s contours, supplemented by a wire for tooth support. Its versatility and durability make it a popular option.
  2. Clear Retainer: Resembling Invisalign trays, clear retainers offer discreteness and convenience. Crafted from transparent plastic, they provide an inconspicuous alternative, albeit with slightly less durability.
  3. Fixed Retainer: Employing a bonded wire affixed to the tongue side of teeth, fixed retainers offer permanence without visibility. This option is ideal for patients at high risk of relapse.

Adjusting to Your Retainer

While adapting to a retainer may initially pose minor challenges, most patients acclimate swiftly. Temporary adjustments, such as increased saliva production or speech alterations, are normal and typically subside quickly. Removable retainers should be worn consistently, only removed for meals and oral hygiene routines.

Retainer Care

Sustaining retainer freshness and hygiene is paramount. Routine cleaning with a soft toothbrush and mild soap or denture cleaner ensures optimal maintenance. Additionally, storing retainers in designated cases safeguards against loss or damage.

Reach Out to Your Orthodontic Partner

As your trusted orthodontic ally in Bellingham and Anacortes, Derek Damon Orthodontics is dedicated to cultivating enduring, radiant smiles. If you seek further insight into retention or envision adult orthodontics enhancing your smile, contact us today at (360) 676-6060 (Bellingham) or (360) 293-2888 (Anacortes). Alternatively, visit our contact page to connect with us. 

Elevate your smile journey with Derek Damon Orthodontics – your pathway to everlasting smiles!