Retainers are devices recommended for use by an orthodontist, typically after having your orthodontic braces removed. They're a very crucial part of dental care at this point in the process. Once the braces are gone, your teeth are aligned and the bite is corrected, but they're not completely fixed until the bones, muscles and gums have adapted to the change. You may initially be advised to use retainers all the time, but after a while, you only need to use them at night or for one week per month, depending on your individual circumstances.

Dr. Tanya Vaysman, our accredited New York City orthodontist, considers several factors when planning at how you can retain the position of your new and improved smile. Possible growth of the jaws following treatment, the amount of time needed for gum and bone tissues to stabilize and pressures from the lips and tongue are all significant components that affect the stability of your finished result. After careful consideration, Dr. Vaysman determines what type of retainer you need to wear and how long you should wear it.

Here are some of the most common types of retainers:

Hawley retainers
These are traditional retainers made of wire with an acrylic body. The wire goes around the teeth and holds them steady. Hawley retainers are used after the removal of braces to keep the teeth in their new position. They need to be worn all day and night for the first six months — after that period, simply wear them at night while you sleep. They can be monitored and adjusted by your orthodontist.

Essix retainers
Made from acrylic, these are clear and invisible devices that fit over the upper or lower teeth. Although they do the serve the same purpose as Hawley retainers and you wear them for just as long, they're used for less severe cases.

If you'd like more information regarding orthodontic health or need to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist, contact the amazing staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists.

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