It’s the day you have been waiting for, the day your braces are coming off!! You know you will need retainers, but your question is do I really need to wear them? At Aleman & Sternstein Orthodontics the answer is always YES!!!! Retainers are a vital step in the process to keeping your bite aligned for life. There are many types of retainers used in orthodontics. The type of retainer a patient will receive will be based on how their bite was prior to starting into braces. One thing that is certain is that the retainer will need to be worn on a regular basis after treatment is completed to hold your teeth in their new position.
Typically patients of Aleman & Sternstein Orthodontics will receive a Hawley or an Essix upper retainer, and a B.L.T. (bonded lingual three to three) retainer. The Hawley retainer is one of the most commonly used retainers, it is a removable retainer made of acrylic plastic and metal. The Essix retainer is made up of clear plastic and will either cover the entire upper arch or the upper 6 front teeth depending on how the bite was at the onset of orthodontic treatment. Our B.L.T. retainers are generally bonded with a tooth like material to the lingual (inside surface) of the lower canine teeth, and will span from canine to canine.
Duration of retainer wear will vary from patient to patient. Typically Dr. Aleman and Dr. Sternstein will ask that patients wear the upper retainer 24 hours a day removing only to brush. While the lower retainer is a fixed retainer. This retainer is also one that the doctors like for patients to have in permanently since lower teeth tend to shift throughout life.
After completing orthodontic treatment, the bone and gum tissue need time to adjust to their new location. If you don’t wear the retainers they have a tendency to relapse. To maintain stability and function please adhere to the retainer instructions you were given…just remember “It is Madness Not to Wear Your Retainer!”