Life After Orthodontic Treatment
Life After Treatment
After a long journey with braces or Invisalign, keeping your smile looking its best means giving your teeth some TLC. And we’ve got just the thing for the job! Your retainer will keep your smile straightened out while the rest of your mouth adjusts to a brand-new way of life. At 103 Orthodontics, we have traditional retainers and clear retainers that can be customized to fit your needs and style.
We’re Your SI Support
You’ve found your Staten Island smile – so let’s keep it bright and beautiful! Wearing your retainer as often as possible, cleaning it, and keeping removable retainers in their case will make sure you won’t lose or damage it. However, we totally know that accidents happen, and that’s why we’re always available to help our Staten Islanders in emergencies. Even if you are new to our office, we’re here for you – so please give us a buzz if you are having any retainer problems or if you need a new retainer.
Retainer Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Retainer?
The purpose of an orthodontic retainer is to hold your teeth nice and straight after completing braces or Invisalign. If you continue to wear nice fitting retainers, your smile will remain beautiful. Our Board Certified Orthodontist Dr. Jordan got his braces off more than 25 years ago, and he still wears his retainers every night. Dr. Jordan’s wife finished her Invisalign in 2020 and still wears retainers every night as well.
Often, people get a little confused about retainers – they come into the office and ask for a retainer to straighten out their smile. However, retainers do not move or straighten teeth, instead they just “retain” – meaning they hold your teeth in the current position. If you want to fix your smile or your bite, the options are braces or Invisalign. At the end of braces or Invisalign, we then will use retainers to maintain the beautiful results.
How many hours do I need to wear my retainers?
This depends on how much time has passed since you finished your braces or Invisalign.
- In our office, we utilize the following retainer schedule:
For the first 8 weeks after we finish braces or Invisalign, we recommend wearing the retainers 15 hours per day – meaning all of the time while at home including while sleeping. You will of course take the retainers out while eating and brushing, So, you will pop your retainers in when you return home from work or school, wear them in the afternoon and evening, take them out to eat dinner and brush, and then wear them all night. We find that this protocol holds the teeth beautifully and reduces the risk of losing the retainers drastically since they stay at home. The retainers will really only leave the house when you come to see us for your retainer checks and when you go on vacation.
- After 8 weeks, we will check the retainers and make sure they are fitting well. As long as there are no issues and they are fitting well, we will then recommend wearing them only while sleeping, but every single night without skipping any nights. If you go on vacation or go to sleep-away camp, you will need to bring the retainers with you to wear while sleeping.
What is a Clear Retainer?
Clear Retainers are the most popular choice in our office because they have excellent comfort, function, cleansability, and esthetics. A clear retainer is a thin clear removable retainer that looks like an Invisalign tray. Often, a clear retainer is referred to as an Essix retainer, because most clear retainers are made from a specific material called Essix.
Clear retainers also have the added benefit of serving as whitening trays. All you need to do is add a little whitening solution (following your dentist’s recommendations and the directions from the manufacturer) and wear it for a few hours.
Another added benefit of clear retainers is that they protect your teeth if you grind or clench while sleeping. The clear retainers cover the biting surfaces of your teeth, so if you are a grinder while you sleep, you will wear down the clear retainer instead of your teeth.
For all these reasons, Dr. Jordan and his wife wear upper and lower clear retainers every night, and we recommend the same in our office.
From grins to ROFL’s, we welcome anyone to come and enjoy the path to a better smile with us.