Retainers are used at the end of orthodontic treatment such as fixed braces or Invisalign, to hold the teeth in their new position.
Whenever you move teeth, they will have a tendency to move back to their original position. This is why retainers are SO important, and are essential. There are different types of retainers, but the ones we usually recommend are the clear plastic ones, know as Essix retainers.
It takes 6-7 months for the bone to form in the new position, so we ask you to wear your retainers full time for this initial period. For the next 6 months you would wear them for 12 hours a day (evenings and overnight) and after the first year you wear them at night. This is pretty much forever…or as long as you want your teeth to remain straight! We usually recommend having a new set of retainers made every 12 months.
We can also provide a fixed retainer, which is a wire that sits on the back of your teeth. There are pros and cons to this treatment, which we would discuss with you, and if you do chose to have one, it is really important that you still wear your removable essix one as well!