Retainers

Retainers

Andover Orthodontics provides services for retainers in Andover, MA.


Call 978-475-0450 to learn more and schedule your appointment. 

When your orthodontic treatment is complete, you’ll be given retainers to help maintain your results. Retainers are typically worn overnight, but for the first week after having your braces removed, we ask that you wear them 14 hours a day to get used to them. After the first week, just bedtime wear should suffice. Just make sure they are worn every night!

Retainers are typically clear trays that fit over your teeth, similar to Invisalign trays. These trays are very comfortable and easy to use. Sometimes, the Doctor may determine that your teeth require a Hawley type retainer. A Hawley retainer has a wire that wraps around your front teeth, and clasps that keep the retainer in place on your back teeth. There is also a “fixed” retainer which is a thin wire bonded to the backs of your lower front teeth. The fixed retainer is nice because it is always in place, however, there are pros and cons to fixed retainers. Since they are bonded to your lower front six teeth, you need to use a floss threader to properly clean your teeth. If you do not keep the fixed retainer clean, plaque and calculus can build up behind your teeth causing gum disease and even bone loss. Due to the position of your lower teeth when you bite, fixed retainers are often not an option for the upper teeth. Many patients find that since they have to wear a clear upper retainer at night, they may as well wear a clear lower retainer at night as well. Getting into the good habit of sleeping with your clear retainers will keep your teeth looking great for many years to come, and can even help prevent wearing of your teeth if you grind at night.

We’ll assess your lifestyle and your orthodontic needs to determine which type of retainer is right for you. No matter what type of retainer you choose, it’s important to comply with your treatment plan. Without a retainer, your teeth are likely to shift and move, meaning you’ll have to undergo orthodontic treatment again to get them realigned. When patients use their retainers as instructed, they can prevent relapse from occurring and help ensure that you have a beautiful smile for a lifetime.


Clear retainer instructions:


  • Wear the retainers 14 hours a day for the first week. It is normal for them to feel tight, they will stretch and break in over the week.
  • After the first week, once they are comfortable, wear them to sleep only. Make sure you wear them every night, and make sure they are fully seated over your teeth.
  • If the retainers ever feel tight that means your teeth are shifting. Perhaps you skipped a night? In that case, wear them more hours (12-14) for a day or two until they are comfortable again and fully seat over your teeth, then go back to nights.
  • Clean your retainers every day. You can brush them with your foamy toothbrush after you finish brushing your teeth. You can soak them in a clear retainer or denture cleaner (no hot water). You can use a clear retainer foam.
  • After you clean your retainer, dry it off then store it in its case. They stay freshest when stored dry. The case helps protect them from pets and makes them easy to find.
  • Dogs and cats love to use retainers as a chew toy! Please keep the retainers out of reach of your pets.

Call 978-475-0450 to schedule your appointment.