Teen with braces ready to come off and text, Think You Are Done with Braces?

Happy day! Your braces are finally coming off! No more stabbing wires, orthodontic visits, half-smiling, saying “no” to gooey caramel apples.

After two or so long years, you’re done.

The last thing you probably want to hear from your orthodontist is that, in fact, you’re not finished yet. Every person who completes orthodontic treatment must wear a custom-made retainer for around twelve months – and probably for much longer part of the time.

Don’t be discouraged. The retainer is an important piece of your treatment plan – and it is usually easy to deal with, comfortable and barely visible.

Why do you need a retainer?

As braces move your teeth, the bone, ligaments and gums surrounding them are being shifted, too, and they need time to stabilize into their new positions. If you skip the retainer, your teeth will likely drift back toward their original alignment. Then you would either start all over again or face some of the problems you had before braces.

Orthodontists generally use four types of retainers: Essix, fixed, Hawley and Vivera.

The Essix retainer looks similar to an Invisalign tray – a clear plastic appliance that fits over your teeth. Like Invisalign, it is nearly invisible and can be removed for eating and cleaning.

The fixed retainer is cemented to the back, or lingual, side of the front six teeth. It too, cannot be seen when you smile, but it is not removable. This type of retainer often is worn for years or even indefinitely.

The Hawley retainer is the most commonly seen type – a molded acrylic piece that fits inside your mouth with a wire along the front of the teeth. This retainer can be removed and adjusted.

Vivera is the trade name for retainers made by Invisalign. They look like Invisalign trays and are crafted with the same technology. You don’t have to be an Invisalign patient to wear them – they work with any braces system.

Whichever retainer your orthodontist recommends, it is important to strictly follow instructions for wear and care. Here are some suggestions you may hear from your orthodontist for removable retainers:

If the next step in your braces treatment is a retainer, congratulations! You now have that beautiful smile and perfect alignment you were looking for. Your retainer is essential to ensure your teeth remain this beautiful and healthy for the rest of your life.


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"Dr. Manilla and his staff are very amazing! They treated us like family. The office is very welcoming. Dr. Manilla and his staff did a excellent job on my daughter's teeth. She can't stop smiling! He is currently working on mine and I can't wait to see how beautiful mine will be. My other two children will as come to this office when they are ready for braces. I highly recommend Dr. Manilla's office. They are the best!"- Leslie M.
"We had an excellent experience with Dr. Manilla and his staff. I found their quote to be lower than a few others around our area. Over the last two years, they have been so flexible and kind as we have tried to schedule appts around school and sports. I have two more kids who might be potential candidates for orthodontics and we would definitely choose Dr. Manilla's office for their needs!"- Heather S.
"What a great experience we've had with Dr. Manilla and his team! My son got his braces off today and we are thrilled with the results. The customer service here is off the charts. Every single staff member is professional, kind and encouraging. Dr. Manilla especially is so fun-loving & truly has a heart for all of his patients. There were times throughout the process that my son needed to be "encouraged" to step up his game with his brushing... Dr. Manilla's staff handled this wonderfully. We highly recommend this team of professionals!"- Debbie B.
"Dr. Manilla and his entire staff provided me with way more than a beautiful smile. Throughout my wonderful experience I was treated with care, provided comfort and fully informed throughout the treatment. It will be hard to say goodbye to everyone at both offices that have taken such good care of me. Luckily every time I look in a mirror and smile I'm reminded of their exceptional work and attention to every detail."- Andrew B.
"Dr. Manilla and his staff are amazing. Always smiling, positive, and willing to help (and support you) in any way possible! They made my journey through (adult) braces a pleasant one! I am super thankful for the kind staff, Dr. Manilla's expertise and my beautiful new smile!"- Tekila F.
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*The reviews on this page are from actual patients of Manilla Orthodontics. Individual results may vary.
Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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Our 5-star-rated orthodontists in Hamilton, Ohio and Liberty Township, Ohio have transformed the smiles of over 10,000 patients. Manilla Orthodontics offers the most advanced braces and clear aligners for adults, teens and children. Our orthodontic care and treatment options include Clear Aligners, Metal Braces, Clear Braces, Children's Orthodontics and Surgical Orthodontics.
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