Many patients mistakenly believe that when they have their braces removed they are finished with orthodontic treatment. Getting your braces off in Glendale, Arizona is a big step, but it’s only the completion of that phase of orthodontic treatment. The next phase is to retain your teeth in their new position. When your braces come off your dentist will fit you with a retainer. The most common types of retainers in use today are Essix, Hawley, and fixed retainers.
An Essix retainer consists of a sheet of thin plastic that has been custom formed from an impression of your teeth. Its appearance is similar to an Invisalign aligner. Your dentist may recommend that you wear it full time at first, and eventually graduate to only wearing it at night. An Essix retainer needs to be cleaned each day and should be examined frequently for cracks since these will render it ineffective. It should not be cleaned with hot water as this can result in warping or distortion.