For some patients, orthodontic treatment can take a long time. And we understand that once their braces come off, they don't want to wear another appliance or make a visit to their orthodontist's office ever again. It's important to remember, though, that getting the smile you've always wanted is really a lifelong process. 

Just like the rest of your body, your teeth and gums continue to move, change and grow throughout your life. You wouldn't expect your hair to stay the same forever after a trim and the same holds true for your teeth. To maintain your alignment, you will most likely need to wear a retainer. Depending on the severity of your original misalignment, you may need to wear a retainer anywhere  from a few months to several years. 

There are different types of retainers and your orthodontist will choose which type is best. Some of the most common appliances include: 

  • Fixed retainer – This variety is glued on the inside surfaces of your teeth. It's convenient because you will not have to deal with taking it out, but it will make cleaning your teeth more difficult. If you end up with a fixed retainer, make sure your orthodontist explains to you how to brush and floss properly.
  • Invisible retainer – Patients who need more discrete orthodontic options generally like clear or invisible retainers. They are similar to Invisalign-like clear aligners and require no adjustment. 
  • Removable retainer – It's likely that you've seen one this before, as  it is the most common type of retainer and  has been used for decades. The appliance has a stainless steel wire that runs across the front of the teeth to maintain alignment and symmetry. 

Contact an orthodontist in New York City today for more information about the treatment process. 

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