Orthodontic Retention

You’ve worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!

To keep your smile looking fantastic, you must wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Did you know that our bodies change throughout our lives and because of future changes, the best way to maintain your results is to continue seeing us for adjustments to your retainers?

We can almost hear you asking, “How long do I wear my retainer?” Our answer is, please wear your retainer for the rest of your life. That being said, most patients continue to see us every six months or once a year for a checkup and adjustment.

Naturally, everyone is different, and we would be happy to discuss your particular needs.

Types of Retainers

Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.

  • Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
  • Aligner-style retainers, or “clear” retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. However, one disadvantage of this type of retainer is the fact they don’t allow as much variance for adjustments and may not last as long as a traditional retainer.
  • Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth.

Pros and Cons

  • Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
  • Removable retainers can be lost or misplaced, so remember to keep your retainer in its case whenever you remove it.
  • A fixed retainer is great if you don’t want to keep track of it, or don’t wish to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn. However, disadvantages include the fact that fixed retainers are not attached to all the teeth; and because they are “bonded” to your teeth, they may become loose and need to be replaced or rebonded.
  • In addition, fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove plaque and calculus during flossing.
Richard E. Dunn, DDS, MS (559) 625-3030
101 W. Tulare Ave
Visalia, CA 93277