From the moment you have had your braces on, you've been counting down the months, weeks, and days until you get them off. You've made it this far, and freedom is right around the corner. In terms of your orthodontic treatment, this is the time that we need to start making considerations for retention.

As a trusted orthodontist in New Baltimore, MI, Dr. Brieden and staff take all orthodontic treatment seriously, and we want to ensure our patients' smiles last a lifetime. So when it comes time to getting those braces removed, we want to make sure each and every patient of ours understands the next steps. Following braces removal, the next step in ensuring your perfect smile continues is retention.

What Is Retention and Why Is It Important?

The first thing many patients want to know is, "What is retention?" Simply put, retention is the process and/or period of time after braces are removed in which your teeth are held in their newly aligned position. This is important for a variety of reasons. First, when your braces are removed, your teeth no longer have the support they need to stay in their new position. Second, your teeth have a natural tendency to want to shift back into their original positions.

While it may seem like a no-brainer that you would want to keep your teeth exactly where they are supposed to be, sometimes patients neglect the importance of retention and choose not to participate. Unfortunately, this can cause all of the hard work that was put into alignment to be for naught. At Brieden Orthodontics, we want to make sure your smile lasts a lifetime, so we always recommend some form of retention following braces removal.

Types of Retainers

There are a few different types of retainers that can be used following braces removal, and the type that is right for you will depend on a variety of factors.

Types of orthodontic retainers.

The Hawley Retainer

This type of retainer is the one that most people think of when they hear the word "retainer." The Hawley retainer is made up of a metal wire that surrounds the teeth and is attached to an acrylic piece that sits behind the teeth and gums. This type of retainer is very effective in holding the teeth in their new position, but it is also the most visible type of retainer.

The Clear Aligner

For patients who are looking for a more discreet option, the clear aligner is a great choice. This type of retainer is made of a clear, plastic material that is virtually invisible when worn. Clear aligners are also removable, so they can be taken out for eating and drinking and put back in when needed.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are just what they sound like - they are permanently attached to the teeth. This type of retainer is usually recommended for patients who have a history of not wearing their removable retainers as prescribed. Fixed retainers are not visible from the front of the mouth, but they can be seen when looking at the teeth from the side. There are some eating restrictions with the permanent bonded retainers, it is more difficult to floss, and they are not recommended for patients with a history of poor oral hygiene.

Contact a Chesterfield Orthodontist Today

If you are in need of orthodontic treatment, or if you have questions about retention following braces removal, contact Brieden Orthodontics today. As an orthodontist in New Baltimore MI and East China MI, our team of  will work with you to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs. We are proud to serve patients in Chesterfield, New Baltimore, East China and the surrounding communities.