What is The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers?
Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, it is important to wear a retainer to maintain your results. A retainer can protect the investment you have made in time and money during your orthodontic treatment by holding your teeth in their new place while your gums and jaw stabilize. To address the varying needs of our patients, Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics in Wyomissing and Reading, PA offers several high-quality retainer options, including fixed and removable retainers. For more information on wearing a retainer after the active phase of orthodontic treatment, please schedule a visit with one of our caring orthodontists today. Our friendly team will help you along the way and explain all your options!
What Are the Different Types of Retainers?
At Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics, we offer our patients three types of retainers based on individual needs:
- Hawley retainers are removable appliances that are composed of molded wires, clasps, and plastic and fit snugly around the teeth
- Vivera® retainers from Invisalign® are transparent mouth trays inconspicuously worn in the same way as a clear teeth aligners and can be taken out of the mouth very easily
- Fixed retainers are made of smooth metal or wire and bonded to the back of the teeth in one or both arches. These retainers can only be removed by our orthodontists.
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Do I Need to Wear a Retainer?
A retainer is recommended for all patients after they finish the active phase (tooth movement through braces) of orthodontic treatment. Even though your teeth are set in their correct position, a retainer will help to hold them in place within the jaw while the remainder of your mouth adapts. In some instances, an orthodontic retainer may be ideal for younger patients to hold the teeth in place until the rest of their permanent teeth erupt and their jawbone develops.
What Is the Process of Getting A Retainer?
When your braces are removed from your teeth, you can start your retainer process. Our orthodontists can help you determine if a removable or fixed retainer is ideal for your needs. We will take an impression of your mouth and send it to a dental lab. Once your retainer arrives back at our office, approximately 1 – 2 weeks later, we will schedule an office visit to have your retainer fitted. At this appointment, our team will bond your fixed retainer in place or will ensure that your removable retainer fits comfortably before sending you home. Instructions on when to wear your retainer, in addition to how to clean and store it, will be provided to you at that time.
How Do I Care For My Retainer?
The length of time recommended for patients to wear a retainer after braces will vary. It is usually suggested that adolescents wear retainers until the jaw is done growing (generally in the early- to mid-20s). Adults may be advised to wear their retainers for at least a 12-month period. With good maintenance and regular exams, your retainer may last a very long time. Meanwhile, you should practice daily cleaning and securely keep your retainer if not in use. Please let us know right away if your retainer is damaged or lost. We will work quickly to have a new appliance made for you so that you do not have any interruption in retaining your straight smile.
Will Insurance Cover the Cost of My Retainers?
Retainers may be included as part of your orthodontic therapy. During your initial consultation, our financial coordinator will review your insurance benefits and let you know if there may be any uncovered portion of your care. Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics is dedicated to making treatment accessible to all patients and accepts several payment methods, including interest-free financing.
How long will I need to wear a retainer?
After you finish your orthodontic treatment, you'll need to wear your retainers all day, only removing it to eat, brush, and floss your teeth for about 4 – 6 months. After about two years, you can probably start wearing your retainer only at night. Two years after that, you can typically wear your retainer every other day. When you visit our office, we'll continue to check your retainer to ensure it's holding up properly and also check your teeth to ensure the retainers are doing what they're supposed to do.
How do I care for my retainer?
It's generally pretty easy to care for your retainer and is really as easy as brushing your teeth. Simply, you just need to brush it under warm water one time a day. If you choose, you can do a quick soak in mouthwash, which will help further prevent bacteria growth. If you're not wearing your retainer, we advise keeping your retainer stored properly in its case.
What happens if I lose my retainer?
If you lose your retainer, call our Wyomissing, PA office as soon as possible. We can have a replacement made for you.
Plan Your Procedure
Maintain Your Results After Braces
Keep your teeth in their correct place following your orthodontic therapy with a removable or fixed retainer from Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics. Continuous use of a retainer may prevent the need for further orthodontic treatment down the road. Schedule an appointment with our orthodontic specialists at our offices located in Wyomissing and Reading, PA to find out more about the benefits of retainers.