At Joseph Arvay Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering exceptional straight smiles to all of our clients throughout Morristown and Flanders, NJ. Count on Dr. Arvay and his team to go the extra mile and provide you with the best orthodontic care at every turn from conception to retention.
What Is Retention?
After your braces are removed, your teeth remain a bit loose and susceptible to shifting until the bone gradually fills in – solidifying the teeth in their new position. As such, retainers are necessary to hold your teeth in the right place (keeping them from moving back to their original position) while the bone hardens. This phase of your orthodontic process is known as retention.
Retention usually lasts at least 12 months, beginning with 2 months of full-time retainer usage followed by 10 months of nightly retainer usage. After that, we recommend wearing your retainer while you sleep as often as possible.
Retainer Care Instructions
- Never wear retainers while you are eating. Store the retainer in its included case during mealtimes, then reinsert afterwards.
- Clean your retainer at least once a day with a toothbrush.
- Soak your retainer in a cup of warm water mixed with Efferdent or Polident to get it extra clean.
- Always keep your retainer in its case when it is not being used.
- If you break or lose your retainer, contact our office in Morristown right away. Please bring the broken retainer with you when coming into our office as well.
- Remove your retainer by pulling on the loops.
- Never place your retainer in hot water, on hot car dashboards, in pockets, or in napkins.
Different Types of Retainers:
The Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer. It is removable and can be used on both the upper and lower teeth. Hawley retainers are made of two distinctive parts – acrylic and wire. The acrylic covers either the roof of the mouth or the inside surface of the lower teeth depending on if the retainer is made for the top or bottom row of teeth. The acrylic can be personalized from an assortment of colors. The wire portion of the retainer wraps around the outer surface of the teeth and is unique to each patient’s mouth.
These retainers are virtually impossible to notice. They are made from a lightweight plastic and fit over the teeth like a glove. This type of retainer is ideal when no additional movement is necessary.
Permanent retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth similarly to the way braces are attached to the front of the teeth. After your permanent retainer is installed, you will never have to worry about your teeth shifting to a crooked position again.
* Teeth begin to shift as we age, so a permanent retainer is an ideal long-term solution.
Call Us With Your Questions Today!
You have invested time and money into your beautiful smile transformation. Therefore, it would be a shame to lose any of that great progress by neglecting the important retention period of your orthodontic treatment.