A beautiful, straight smile is meant to last a lifetime, but for many people, this is only possible with the help of a retainer. Even after orthodontic treatment, your teeth may shift as you age. At Dentistry at Millennium Park, we offer a variety of retention options to ensure that the beautiful results from your braces or aligners last forever.
Types of Retainers
For younger patients who require a phased approach to orthodontics, we recommend a clear and color palate retainer at the end of phase 1 treatment. The device will be worn each night during sleep.
This particular retainer is multipurpose. The clear part keeps the four anterior teeth straight and stable as the new permanent teeth continue to grow in. The color palate portion keeps the mouth’s arch wide. It’s adjusted every six month as the patient loses baby teeth and new permanent teeth grow in. The color palate has a thickness that will create vertical space to assist in opening up deep bites and creating space for twelve-year molars to fully grow in.
A different retainer is worn after phase 2 treatment concludes. This is a fully clear upper retainer that we recommend wearing all day and night for the first year post-treatment. After one year, it is only recommended as a night retainer. Wearing the retainer just two to three times per week throughout life will help preserve your smile.
For patients who have a phase 1 treatment for bottom teeth, a lower lingual wire will be placed behind the bottom four anterior permanent teeth. At the end of phase 2 treatment, this wire will be placed on the six anterior teeth. Lower anterior teeth are typically the first teeth to shift as patients enter adulthood, so this type of retainer helps prevent that. This is a permanent retainer and is worn throughout life. Lower clear retainers are an option as well.
Child and adult patients who only require one phase of orthodontic treatment will typically wear an upper clear retainer all day and night for the first year and then only at night afterwards. A permanently cemented lower lingual wire will be placed behind the bottom six anterior teeth, too.
If you grind or clench your teeth, there is a thicker clear retainer, often called a nightguard or bite guard, available to withstand those habits and minimize the damage they cause. Your general dentist can fit you for a bite guard if necessary.
We are here to help retain your new smile
For our patients in Chicago, our team is highly trained in retention devices to suit your lifestyle and make sure your smile stays in place throughout your lifetime. If you have any questions or want to begin orthodontic treatment, call us at (312) 883-9316.