Retention

Orthodontic Retention In Thornhill & Mississauga

Keep Teeth Straight After Braces

At Orthodontically Yours, our mission is to help all our patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Dr. Kholov and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists work hard to treat every patient on an individual basis, designing specialized treatment plans that perfectly suit each patient's unique

orthodontic needs. But your treatment plan isn't just about braces - the post-braces phase, called retention, is just as important for the long term health of your smile.

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Orthodontics After Braces

mother and son

We know it may seem far off now, but one day soon we'll take your braces off. We know how ecstatic you'll be, but keep in mind that you're not quite out of the woods yet: now comes the retention phase. While your teeth are in new positions, the bone and ligaments that support them haven't adapted and set into place yet. Without a retainer, your teeth will just move back to their original positions, erasing all of your hard work!

There are a variety of retainer types available to you, and each one is custom-made to fit your unique bite and keep your smile in place. After we take your braces off, we'll take measurements and x-rays to evaluate your orthodontic situation, then talk with you about what retainer would work best for you. Once we select a retainer type, we'll fit you for it and custom make your own. Once you have it, you're on the last stage of your journey towards a lifelong healthy smile. 

Kinds of Retainers

Types of orthodontic retainers.

Retainers come in three main types, and each is best suited for particular situations. The most common is called a "Hawley" retainer, composed of a thin piece of acrylic that mirrors the shape of the roof of your mouth and a thin wire that runs along your teeth to keep them in place. It's simple, affordable, durable, and very easy to correct for minor improvements.

Clear aligner can also be used as retainers, and these resemble the clear plastic trays of Invisalign treatment. They're made from thin, transparent plastic that's molded to fit directly over your teeth. They're invisible and easy to remove, making them well-suited to daytime use, but they're a little less durable than Hawleys and aren't great for people with conditions like teeth grinding.

Fixed retainers offer another, more permanent option. These aren't removable, but they're completely invisible - because they sit on the inside (tongue side) of your teeth. They're made from a small wire sitting against the rear of your teeth that's bonded to your canines, and may be worn for several months or longer. These are great for patients whose teeth are at a high risk for moving back to their old positions.

Getting Used to a Retainer

Generally, adjustment doesn't take long - but you may find that for a day or two, your mouth produces more saliva and you have a harder time talking normally. As your mouth adjusts to the new appliance, these issues should fade away. At first, you'll likely need to wear your 24/7, removing it only to eat and clean your teeth - but eventually, you'll only have to wear it at night, then only a few nights a week.

Retainer Care & Cleaning

How to Clean Removable Retainers

It's critical to clean your retainer regularly to avoid the buildup of plaque and bacteria. You can brush a Hawley-type with a normal toothbrush, but this may scratch a clear aligner. For clear aligners, use denture cleaning tablets in a glass of water to clean them. For a fixed retainer, you'll want to clean it by brushing and flossing like normal, using a floss threader or interproximal (pine-tree shaped) brush where necessary. 

When we give you your retainer, we'll include a special case with it - and it's crucial that you use is at all times. You'd be amazed how many stories we've heard from patients who have accidentally folded their retainers up in a napkin and thrown them away - and replacement is an expensive proposition! Also be careful not to expose it to excess heat, as this can cause warping. With careful cleaning and consistent use, your retainer will safeguard your new smile for years to come.

Contact Your Mississauga or Thornhill, ON Orthodontist

Have more questions about your retention or want to come in for a visit? We're happy to help. Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page with any questions or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Thornhill or Mississuaga, ON office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy new smile!

Related Articles

Orthodontic Retainers - Dear Doctor Magazine

The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers Decades ago, orthodontists used to think that once teeth were moved into the “right” positions, they would stay there forever. Research over the past thirty years has shown that this is not true — there is no “right” position that can assure a permanent, unchanging result. The only way to be sure the alignment of your teeth and your bite remains stable after orthodontic treatment is to wear retainers as needed and as directed by your orthodontist or dentist... Read Article

Orthodontic Retainers - Dear Doctor Magazine

Why Orthodontic Retainers? It is common to wear retainers following orthodontic treatment or what people commonly refer to as braces, for good reason. Teeth must be “retained” or stabilized in their new position long enough for the gum tissue, bone and ligament to reform and mature around them, which can take several months. The teeth will tend to relapse into their old position quite rapidly if the retainers are not worn... Read Article