Retainers: How They Work

After braces are removed, your teeth have a natural tendency to re-position themselves back towards their original position. To prevent this from occurring, retainers are used to stabilize your teeth in their new positions. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far.

There are several different types of retainers available. The Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer used. It is a removable retainer made up of sturdy acrylic and metal wires, designed to keep your teeth in place. Lingual retainers are cemented directly to the interior surface of your lower canines and have proven to be one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from moving. The Essix retainer is a clear, removable retainer that is custom fit to the teeth and is less noticeable.

No matter what type of retainer, they are all designed for the same purpose – to keep your teeth straight and beautiful for a lifetime.

While it may vary from patient to patient, the normal period for full-time retainer wear lasts for about two years. During this time, we will schedule regular appointments every 3-6 months to give us an opportunity to monitor your progress and address any questions or concerns you have. After this full period of full-time retainer wear, we will often recommend part-time retainer wear indefinitely, so as to ensure your smile is as straight and beautiful as the day your braces came off!

Wisdom Teeth: How They Work

Your third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

Rubber Bands: How They Work

Rubber bands are a vital part of treatment and are also contingent upon patient compliance. They add extra pressure to the braces to help move the teeth. Generally worn at all times (excluding eating and brushing your teeth), rubber bands should be changed at least once a day. They come in various sizes as they are each used for a specific purpose. We will provide you with the appropriate size.

You should always carry extra rubber bands with you in the event one breaks. If you run out, please call us immediately and we will supply you with more.

It is important to wear them consistently or treatment setbacks may occur. If only one day is missed, it could cause your teeth to shift back to their original position!