Now that your teeth have been adjusted and realigned into their new positions, your braces can be removed. However, there will still be some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments that are anchoring your teeth. If this tension isn’t mitigated somehow, it can start to pull your teeth back out of alignment in a process known as relapse.
To prevent this, your orthodontist, Dr. Michael Bowen, will recommend one of three different styles of retainers that you will need to use in order to hold your teeth in their new alignment.
A Hawley-style retainer is the most common type of retainer we recommend. It is a thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic that is custom fit to the shape of your mouth. The retainer is secured in your mouth by a set of wires that lock onto specific teeth.
A clear plastic retainer might be called for if you only needed braces for a short period of time. The clear plastic material makes it hard for the casual observer to notice you’re even wearing a retainer.
If your braces provided a significant amount of realignment, your orthodontist might recommend installing a fixed retainer. This is even more likely if your front teeth were severely out of alignment. The retainer is a durable wire that is cemented in place behind your teeth.
If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about retainers in Scottsdale, Arizona, you can call Great Big Smiles Orthodontics at 480-948-4200. We have three convenient locations to serve you!