Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment in Minneapolis, MN

At Meister Orthodontics, our mission is to help patients of all ages achieve healthy, beautiful new smiles through high-quality orthodontic treatment. As a leading orthodontist serving St. Paul, MN and the surrounding areas, Dr. Meister works hard to personalize treatment to fit any lifestyle, and we're proud to offer a variety of treatment options ranging from traditional braces to Invisalign. But the active phase of treatment isn't the only thing you'll need to achieve a new smile: you'll also need thorough retention treatment!

Why Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

When you finally get your braces off or finish your last pair of Invisalign aligners, we know you'll be excited. After all, the new smile you've worked so hard to achieve is finally yours! But you're not quite out of the woods yet. 

When you finish the active phase of treatment, your teeth will be in a new alignment. But the tissues and ligaments that support the teeth – the periodontal ligament, in particular, have yet to adapt to that new alignment. Left to their own devices, your teeth will gradually drift back to their old positions, erasing all your hard work! Retention therapy holds your teeth in place long enough for your mouth to adapt, cementing your new smile for a lifetime. 

What Are the Different Types of Retainers?

Just like with orthodontic treatment, every patient will have different needs when it comes to retention. At our practice, we're proud to offer a variety of options for retention treatment to perfectly suit your treatment needs. There are three distinct types of retainers that we offer at our practice:

  • Clear Retainers
  • Removable Hawley Retainers
  • Bonded Retainers (used rarely at Dr. Meister's direction)

Clear Retainers

Clear retainers are provided for the majority of our patients at the end of their treatment.  They are thin, transparent trays that fit directly over the teeth, closely resembling an Invisalign aligner. Clear retainers are inexpensive, convenient, and virtually invisible when worn, which makes them a popular choice for our adult orthodontic patients. Always remember to brush your retainer anytime you take it out of your mouth or before putting it in.

Removable Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer is composed of a molded piece of acrylic, cast to match the contours of your mouth, with an array of metal wires protruding from it designed to hold the teeth in place. It's the most common option for retention and likely what first comes to mind when you think of the word 'retainer.' Hawley's are convenient, removable, and effective, but you'll need to always remember to brush your retainer anytime you take it out of your mouth or before putting it in. 

Bonded Retainers

Bonded retainers, also called fixed retainers, are usually used for patients who have a high risk of tooth regression. These retainers are made from a single metal wire that's cemented directly to the teeth, usually running across the backside of the lower front teeth. Fixed retainers are convenient and highly effective in that they stay in all the time, but you will need a floss threader to properly perform oral hygiene. If your bonded retainer ever does start to come loose, simply contact our office to schedule a repair appointment.  Bonded retainers will always require the use of clear retainers too, as they only hold the front 4-6 teeth.  Dr. Meister will determine if you are a candidate for bonded retainers.

Contact Your Minneapolis & St Paul Orthodontist

Retention therapy is vital to ensuring your smile lasts for the long-haul, so make sure to take retention just as seriously as any other phase of your treatment. Still have questions about retainers or want to know more? Simply reach out to us at our contact page to learn more about retention or to schedule an appointment at our office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy new smile!