Braces and Invisalign are treatments used to straighten your teeth and give you a beautiful and healthy-looking smile. Retention is the process used to keep in their new position. At Huls Orthodontics, we believe that all of our patients should get the most out of their orthodontic treatment, which is why we often recommend retention after adult orthodontic treatment in Monticello. Discover why you should wear a retainer and everything you need to know about keeping your smile straight for years to come.

Why Wear a Retainer

Whether you got braces or used Invisalign to straighten your smile, your teeth are still malleable and can move after treatment. Retainers are devices used to help keep your teeth in their new position while they settle and become more permanently affixed. Without using a proper retainer as directed, your teeth will shift back into misalignment, causing all the problems you've worked to correct. The team at Huls Orthodontics commonly recommends a retainer as part of a treatment plan to prevent this regression.


Types of Retainers

There are a few options our family orthodontist may explore with you to retain your teeth's new position. Discover the differences between these options and when each may provide the retention that'll best meet your lifestyle and needs.

Hawley Retainer

Hawley_retainerThe Hawley retainer is made from a custom acrylic mold with wires that secure the mold to the top or bottom of your mouth. The retainer most people associate with orthodontic treatment works by applying outward pressure on your teeth, holding them in position. Hawley retainers are easy to remove, allowing patients to clean them and orthodontists to ensure they continue functioning properly. When properly maintained, these retainers can last for years, potentially as long as 10 or 20 years.

Essix Retainer

essixInvisalign was created because people seeking adult orthodontic treatment in Monticello shouldn't have to resort to unsightly braces. Essix retainers meet that same need, allowing you to maintain your straight smile without the typical aesthetic challenges presented with Hawley retainers. Essix retainers use a clear polymer mold that fits over your teeth and is nearly invisible. Our family orthodontist will fit you for an Essix retainer and then create a custom mold to keep your teeth from shifting out of alignment. Like Hawley retainers, you can easily remove these to keep them clean. Essix retainers will typically last up to three years before needing a replacement.

Fixed Retainers

lingualbondedretainerFixed retainers provide an even less visible alternative to keep your teeth aligned. They use a wire that's semi-permanently affixed to the back of your teeth and apply outward pressure to keep your teeth aligned. Because of their semi-permanent nature, it's critical to take care in properly cleaning the back of your teeth to prevent tooth decay. Fixed retainers are a great option when you want to have a completely natural look, or for those who don't want to deal with removing and replacing their retainer.


Family Orthodontist You'll Love

We understand that straightening teeth is hard work, whether in your mouth or your children's. This is why we believe in the value of retention and keeping your teeth straight after braces or Invisalign. Contact Huls Orthodontics today to learn more about retention or to schedule an appointment.