Quality Orthodontic Treatment in Tacoma, WA

You deserve a smile you're truly proud of, and at Douglas Knight Orthodontics, our mission is to help you achieve one. As a leading orthodontist serving the greater Tacoma, WA area, we're proud to offer a wide range of treatments including both braces and Invisalign, and Dr. Knight takes care to customize each treatment plan to suit the unique lifestyles of our patients. But no matter which orthodontic treatment you choose, there's one vital step you'll need to complete after treatment to protect the longevity of your smile: retention therapy.

Why Do I Need to Wear a Retainer?

When you get your braces off or finish with Invisalign treatment, we know you'll be excited – but you're not quite out of the woods yet. At the end of the active phase of your treatment, it's true that your teeth will be in new positions. But the ligaments and tissues that support your teeth will have yet to adapt to those new positions. This means that left to their own devices, your teeth will migrate back to their old alignment, erasing your new smile!

Retention therapy is a crucial last stage of treatment that gives your mouth time to adjust to your new orthodontic alignment, protecting your smile for the long-haul. A retainer keeps your teeth in place, and with proper wear, your retainer will ensure your new smile lasts a lifetime.

Types of Retainers

Just like the different types of orthodontic treatment, there are a variety of types of retainers available, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Your Tacoma orthodontist will work with you to choose the best option from the available types of retainer:

  • Hawley Retainer: This is the most common type of retainer, and it's made from a piece of molded acrylic with wires protruding from the edges. Hawley retainers are removable, durable, and effective, and they're a great option for the majority of patients.
  • Essix Retainer: Similar to an Invisalign aligner, Essix retainers are made from a clear plastic material and custom-shaped to fit directly over the teeth. Essix retainers are both affordable and discreet, which makes them a great option for patients who need to wear their retainer more often than normal.
  • Bonded Retainer: Finally, fixed or bonded retainers are composed of a single metal wire that's fixed behind the front teeth with dental cement. Unlike the other types, fixed retainers can't be taken out and stay in place until your orthodontist removes them, usually after a period of several months. Fixed retainers are most common for patients with a high risk of tooth regression, as they're active 24/7.

Contact Your Tacoma, WA Orthodontist

Retention therapy is a vital part of orthodontic treatment, and if you're interested in achieving a new smile of your own through treatment, we'd be thrilled to help. Contact us today to learn more about how orthodontics can help you revitalize your smile or with any questions you have about treatment or our practice. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve your dream smile!