Once orthodontic treatment has been completed, we begin the retention phase of your treatment. Teeth have a “memory” and can tend to shift unless they are properly retained. Dr. Kemnitz will give careful consideration to the selection of retainers that are best for you. In some circumstances, you may be able to choose. We want to protect your investment in time, energy, and money, so that your new smile or that of your child’s will last a lifetime.
Retainers may be removable, fixed (bonded) or a combination of the two.
This traditional removable retainer can be made to fit both the upper and/or lower teeth, and comes in a wide assortment of color choices.
The “invisible” Essix retainer is similar to the Invisalign® aligner. They have minimal bulk and are easy to wear.
Bonded retainers are small wires that are bonded to the inside of the upper and/or lower front teeth. These retainers are small and comfortable but do require extra attention when brushing and flossing.
Because teeth can always move, Dr. Kemnitz often recommends that the bonded retainer wires be left in place indefinitely. A study published in 2007 by Booth, Edelman and Proffit showed that bonded retainers are both safe and effective. If you choose to remove your bonded retainer(s) or if your dentist feels they need to be removed due to oral hygiene concerns, then we may recommend that you replace the bonded retainer with a removable retainer.
Proper care of your retainers is vital. During the first year of retention, there is no charge for minor repair of retainers. Charges will be incurred for replacement of missing or broken retainers or for repairs after one year. Retainers should be considered personal use items, similar to contact lenses.
Replacement of worn out retainers may incur an additional charge. The frequency of repair/replacement depends on multiple factors, such as overall health of the gums, flossing techniques, diet, bite strength, and whether or not you tend to clench and grind your teeth.
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