When braces are removed, Dr. Weiler will place orthodontic retainers to prevent shifting and allow the position of the teeth to stabilize. Recent studies have indicated that teeth retain the ability to shift for several years. Long-term orthodontic results depend on consistent retainer wear, so it is very important to wear retainers as directed to prevent orthodontic relapse.
Initially, retainers are worn full-time but later the time requirements for wear decrease. However, retainers are like eyeglasses—they must be worn to have the desired effect. We currently recommend nightly retainer wear on an indefinite basis. As a courtesy, Dr. Weiler will continue to monitor retainers and retainer wear for one year after active treatment ends.
There are several types of retainers, each with specific benefits. Dr. Weiler will prescribe the appropriate retainer for each case, taking personal preference into account. Traditional acryilc-and-wire retainers allow for maximum tooth contact, while newer invisible retainers provide optimum retention in all three dimensions. Sometimes, a non-removable retainer is placed in areas of significant pre-treatment crowding.
Remember to remove your retainer before eating and brushing and to carefully brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.