Susan Liebman, DMD -  - Orthodontics

Brooklyn Heights Orthodontics

Susan Liebman, DMD

Orthodontics located in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NY

Wearing a retainer to keep your straight teeth in place ensures that the time and money that you dedicated to braces or Invisalign wasn’t in vain. At Brooklyn Heights Orthodontics in Brooklyn Heights, New York City, Susan Liebman, DMD, gives you fixed, removable, or both types of retainers to keep your teeth in their straight position. If you need help using your retainer or an adjustment to it, call Brooklyn Heights Orthodontics, or book an appointment online today.

Retainers Q & A

What are retainers?

Retainers are orthodontic devices that prevent your teeth from shifting out of place following an orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign. Some retainers stay in your mouth permanently and are called fixed retainers. They typically consist of a wire cemented to the backs of your teeth that only Dr. Liebman can remove for you.

Removable retainers are also an option. You may get one or the other, or Dr. Liebman may install a fixed retainer on your bottom teeth and give you a removable retainer for your top row. There are two main types of removable retainers:

Clear plastic retainers

Clear plastic retainers are custom created using a mold of your teeth. They fit over your teeth, much like Invisalign aligners, and are hardly visible to others when you smile. They’re comfortable and are unlikely to affect your speech.

Hawley retainer

Hawley retainers consist of a plastic part that fits against the roof of your mouth and an attached wire that runs along the fronts of your teeth. It’s easy for Dr. Liebman to adjust if it doesn’t fit perfectly and is difficult to break.

Why do I need a retainer?

Without a retainer, your teeth may merge toward their original position of misalignment. This can happen even years after your orthodontic treatment, so Dr. Liebman may suggest that you keep your retainer for the rest of your life to preserve your straight teeth.

You’ll have regular check-ups at Brooklyn Heights Orthodontics while you use a retainer. Dr. Liebman makes sure that your retainer fits comfortably and that your teeth aren’t shifting. She may adjust your Hawley retainer to fit more comfortably or make you a new, clear plastic retainer if it breaks or becomes misshapen. 

How should I care for my retainer?

Caring for your retainer is simple. As with any oral appliance, the key to caring for your teeth and the retainer itself is maintaining your oral hygiene. To care for your removable retainer, Dr. Liebman recommends that you:

  • Take it out to eat
  • Keep it in its case when you take it out
  • Brush your retainer gently to clean it every day
  • Continue brushing and flossing your teeth
  • Soak it in water intermittently

A fixed retainer doesn’t require much additional maintenance, but you must brush and floss your teeth. Dr. Liebman gives you a special tool that helps you weave the floss between the retainer and your gumline.

If you have any issues with your retainer, don’t hesitate to call Brooklyn Heights Orthodontics, or book an appointment online today.