Once you are done with the active phase of your orthodontic treatment, you can proceed to a retainer to help maintain your results. A retainer from our full-service Tupelo, MS dental practice can protect the investment you have made in money and time with orthodontic treatment by keeping your teeth in their new place while your gums and jaw stabilize. To serve the needs of our many patients, Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers several high-quality retainer options, such as removable and fixed retainers. Skilled dentists Dr. Richard Caron or Dr. John Kenney will present all of your options and guide you through the retention phase of orthodontic care. Even if we did not treat you with braces, we can still serve your smile with a customized retainer.
Types of Retainers
At Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer our patients three different types of retainers based on each patient's needs: a Hawley, clear, or fixed retainer. The Hawley retainer (the most common kind of retainer) is composed of molded wires, plastic, and clasps and can be taken in and out of the mouth. A transparent retainer, such as a Vivera retainer from Invisalign, is inconspicuously worn the same way as a clear teeth aligner and can be removed from the mouth quite easily. A fixed retainer cannot be removed from the mouth since it is bonded to the back of the teeth in one or both arches.
Best Candidates for Retainers
A retainer is suggested for all patients as soon as they finish active orthodontic treatment. Although your teeth are in their correct position, a retainer helps to hold them there while the remainder of your mouth and jaw adjusts. A retainer may also be a great option for younger patients who are still waiting for all their permanent teeth to come in and while their jawbone is still growing.
What to Expect with Retainers
When your braces are removed from your teeth, you may start your retainer process. We will take an impression of your mouth and send it off to a dental laboratory. Once your retainer is crafted and arrives in our office, a process that typically takes 1 – 2 weeks, we will schedule an office visit to deliver your appliance. At this appointment, doctors Caron or Kenney will ensure that your retainer is comfortable and will make any necessary adjustments. We will also give you specific instructions on how to use your retainer in addition to how to clean and maintain your post-orthodontic appliance.
While the length of time to wear a retainer varies among patients, it is usually recommended to use a retainer until all of the permanent teeth come in (for children) or the jaw has completely stabilized. With good maintenance and routine inspections, your retainer can be kept for many years. As the years progress and normal wear and tear occur, your retainer might need to be repaired or replaced. Meanwhile, you should practice daily cleaning and safely keep your retainer if not in use. In case your retainer is lost or damaged, contact our office for a new retainer as soon as possible so as not to cause any relapse in your orthodontic results.
Fixed and Removable Retainers
Help keep your teeth in their new place following your orthodontic therapy using a fixed or removable retainer from Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Continuous use of a retainer can prevent relapse of teeth positioning and the need for additional orthodontic treatment later in life. Schedule a consultation with doctors Caron or Kenney at our office in Tupelo, MS to learn more about the advantages of fixed and removable orthodontic retainers.