Keeping Your Smile Perfect Post-Treatment

So, your orthodontic treatment is finished and you’re ready to show off your perfect smile. But in order to keep it as flawless as possible, you need to follow some important guidelines, often called “orthodontic retention.” In this blog, we’ll discuss orthodontic retention strategies to help you keep your smile perfect post-treatment.

Why Do You Need Orthodontic Retention?

When braces are removed, teeth sometimes shift back into their original positions through no fault of your own. This is why retention strategies are extremely important. Retention prevents the shift and simply keeps the teeth in place. Therefore, it is important to remember that retention is a lifelong commitment, especially if you want to keep your smile perfect.

Essential Components for Successful Orthodontic Retention

In order to make sure that your orthodontic treatment is maintained, it is important to follow some key components.


The most crucial component for successful retention of orthodontic treatment is compliance. This means that the patient needs to follow the instructions given by the orthodontist on how to wear and use any orthodontic appliances post-treatment. This may include wearing a retainer for a certain amount of time each day, as well as making regular appointments with the orthodontist for checkups and adjustments.

Proper Oral Hygiene

It is also extremely important to maintain great oral hygiene post-treatment. This means brushing and flossing twice a day to keep bacteria and plaque at bay. You should also plan to use a fluoride mouth rinse and avoid sugary drinks and hard, sticky sweets and foods. This can not only help to keep cavities and gum disease at bay, but also can prevent the retainer from shifting out of place.

Healthy Living Habits

If you are serious about keeping your smile perfect post-treatment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also imperative. This means exercising regularly, as this helps to stimulate better circulation and will help to keep the teeth healthy. Avoiding smoking and keeping your alcohol intake under control is also important, as these substances can weaken the teeth and cause them to shift.

Orthodontic Retention Devices

In addition to compliance, maintaining good oral hygiene and following healthy living habits, there are also orthodontic retention devices that your orthodontist may use to help keep your smile perfect post-treatment. These devices include:

Removable Retainers

There are two types of removable retainers: Hawley retainers and clear plastic retainers. Both types are made from a strong and durable material called an acrylic shell. These appliances help to retain the newly shaped teeth and also prevent shifting.

Prolonged Removable Retainers

These are also known as bonded permanent retainers. These retainers are worn every day, but can also be taken out for daily brushing and flossing. These are a great retention option for people who do not want the discomfort of wearing a retainer on the lower arch all day.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers (also known as bonded lingual arches) are a permanent and invisible solution to post-treatment retention. They are typically placed behind the upper and lower front teeth, so nobody will know you’re wearing them. Fixed retainers help to hold the teeth in place and prevent shifting in the long term.

Before your treatment is over, it is important to talk to your orthodontist about orthodontic retention strategies. An orthodontist like Dr. Gil will be able to help you figure out which devices and strategies will work best for you and your treatment. In the end, while orthodontic retention may require a lifelong commitment, the reward of a perfect smile is well worth it.