Actual patients of Dr. Zeifman

Orthodontic Retainers

Post-Treatment Care For Your New Smile

After you have completed your orthodontic treatment and unveiled your beautiful, new smile, you will want to protect your investment and maintain your excellent results. Retainers are orthodontic devices used to maintain the position of teeth after the completion of orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners. Once the active phase of orthodontic treatment is finished and the teeth have been moved into their desired positions, retainers help prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original positions. At Zeifman Orthodontics, we offer several types of retainers to our patients and provide detailed guidance on how to care for them.

Types of Retainers at Zeifman Orthodontics

Just as there are many choices for orthodontic braces and aligners, there are options for retainers after treatment. All of them work by maintaining tooth position and bite alignment to prevent your teeth from shifting out of place. They are made from different materials, including metals, plastics and wires, and can be removable or permanently placed. Here at Zeifman Orthodontics, we offer three types of retainers for our patients.

  • Essix. These are constructed entirely of transparent plastic, similar to clear aligners. They have a low profile appearance with no metal or wires. They are removable for eating and brushing. Dr. Zeifman will make an impression in the office to create a custom appliance just for you.

  • Hawley. These removable appliances are made of plastic and metal and are also custom molded to fit each patient’s teeth. Wires fit over the front six teeth while loops sit near the canine teeth to keep your teeth in place. This device keeps your teeth in position as the bone surrounding them hardens and settles into place.

  • Fixed Lingual Retainer. This option is bonded or glued on the lingual (tongue) side of the teeth. A thin wire is bonded to the first six teeth of the upper and lower arches because these teeth are the most likely to shift. The thin, flexible wire is comfortable and does not affect speech. One of the biggest benefits of this option is that because it stays in the mouth semi-permanently, it cannot be lost.

Benefits of Fixed vs. Removable Retainers

The type of device you choose will depend on your individual needs and lifestyle. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which retention device to choose:

  • Oral hygiene. While removable retention devices can be removed when brushing and flossing your teeth, fixed retainers stay adhered to the teeth at all times, and require a bit more attention to properly remove plaque and food particles.

  • Damage or loss. Lingual retention devices are always attached to the teeth, and are at no risk of getting lost. However, because Essix and Hawley devices are removable, they are more likely to be damaged or lost when you are not wearing them.

  • Caring for appliances. Removable retainers, such as Essix and Hawley, require meticulous and regular cleaning.

happy girl teen smile transformation orthodontic treatment
Actual patient of Dr. Zeifman

How To Care For Your Retainer

Follow these simple steps to keep your new confident smile intact:

Retainers should be worn whenever you are at home unless Dr. Zeifman advises otherwise. They can be removed to eat and brush your teeth. After the first few weeks of the retention phase, you can start wearing them only at night, but must do so indefinitely if you want to maintain your smile results.

Replacement appliances are expensive, so it is important to always remove them and place them safely in a case. Do not put your aligners in a napkin in your pocket!

Brushing them once a day with a toothbrush, toothpaste and warm water removes plaque and eliminates odors.

Dr. Zeifman and her staff will inspect your appliances to make sure they are fitting properly. If you notice that it is cracked, broken or fitting improperly, call the office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Keep it away from hot water, hot cars, your pocket and the washing machine. Orthodontic appliances can warp easily and may break.

Treat your retainers with care and they will last! If you break or lose your devices, be sure to call us right away to schedule an appointment, as your teeth can move quickly. An orthodontic appliance may seem like a commitment, but it is an easy way to maintain your beautiful smile.

Learn More About Retainers at Zeifman Orthodontics

Here at Zeifman Orthodontics, we are excited to offer many smile retention options to help our patients smile with confidence for years to come. If you have questions or would like to learn more about these devices, contact Zeifman Orthodontics. Call our call our Florham Park office at 973-408-9183 or our Mattituck office at 631-248-2400.

exterior of mattituck location for zeifman orthodontics
dr zeifman smiling holding dog

Total Smile Care

For The Whole Family

At Zeifman Orthodontics, we believe that people of all ages deserve the best and most comprehensive orthodontic care. We are dedicated to helping each patient achieve their dream smile in a way that fits their budget and lifestyle.