Post Orthodontics

Your Mt. Airy, PA Orthodontist

At Moore Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality care we can while maintaining a fun, friendly, and welcoming office environment. Dr. Moore and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists strive to help every patient achieve their dream smile, crafting individualized treatments to suit their unique orthodontic needs. But braces are only one stage in the road to a beautiful smile - and what you do after braces is just as important as what you do with them.

Retention Treatment

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One day in the not-too-distant future, your braces will finally come off. We know this may be hard to fully grasp, but it's true. You'll be free of brackets and wires, you'll be able to eat what you want, when you want, and you can finally run your tongue over the smooth surface of your now perfectly straight teeth. But while we know you'll be nearly jumping off the walls with excitement, you're not out of the woods yet: now begins the retention phase, one of the most important parts of treatment.

Retention therapy is critical to the long-term success of your new smile. Although your teeth have moved to new positions, the tissues, ligaments, and bones supporting them have yet to "set" into place, so without a retainer, your teeth will just move back to their old positions - erasing all your hard work!

We'll fit you with a new retainer the same day you get your braces off to ensure your treatment is continuous as possible. After another set of x-rays and bite impressions, we'll give you detailed instructions for how to wear and care for your retainer.

Three Kinds of Retainers

types-of-orthodontic-retainers.jpgThere are three major types of retainers in use today, and each is best suited for a unique set of situations. The most common is the "Hawley" retainer, which consists of a thin acrylic mold that's made to fit your mouth and a wire to hold your teeth in position. The Hawley is simple and durable, designed to be easy to use and effective at holding teeth in place. We can even customize your Hawley with colors and designs on the plastic arch!

The second style is the clear align type retainer, which resembles the Invisalign® system. These are custom-made to fit directly onto the dental arch, and they provide an added aesthetic appeal thanks to their virtually invisible design. The only drawback is that they aren't as durable as Hawley retainers, and they're not recommended for patients who grind their teeth.

Finally, fixed retainers are a style that's suited for patients who are at high risk of having their teeth revert to their original positions. Fixed retainers - usually applied to the lower jaw - are bonded directly onto the tongue side of the teeth and use a wire to hold teeth in place. They may be left in place for months and provide a foolproof solution for maintaining tooth position.

The Adjustment Period

At first, you'll likely need to wear your retainer 24/7 - but don't be too worried about it. Most patients adjust quickly to their new retainer, and unlike with braces, you can remove your retainer to eat, brush, and floss. After your initial full-time period, we'll have you wear your retainer only at night, and eventually you'll only need it a few nights a week. It's critical to wear your retainer as much as we recommend, as it's the only way to ensure you get to keep your beautiful new smile.

Caring for Your Retainer

You'll need to keep your retainer clean and free of germs to make sure it works as effectively as possible. Hawley retainers can be cleaned by brushing with a normal toothbrush, but you'll need to use denture cleaners on clear aligner-type retainers. For a fixed retainer, you'll need to brush it and use floss threaders or an interproximal (pine tree) brush to keep it clean.

We'll provide you with a special, high-visibility case for your retainer - so be sure to use it! The case will keep your retainer safe and ensure you don't leave it somewhere, avoiding costly replacements and repairs. With careful maintenance and consistent use, your retainer will make your new smile last you a lifetime.

Contact Your Mt. Airy, PA Braces & Invisalign Specialist

Have more questions about retention or your treatment in general? We're here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at one of our Philadelphia, PA offices. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve - and making it last a lifetime!

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