Why You Need Retainers After Brace Treatment
Affordable braces can help you straighten your teeth. However, once you have them removed, you are only halfway through. The more significant challenge involves maintaining the aligned teeth in their correct position.
While you may feel excited to dump the wire tracks after two long years, the euphoria should not supersede the need to continue keeping your beautiful smile. Your orthodontist will recommend a pair of retainers for you to wear to keep your teeth in the right position.
What Are Retainers?
Retainers are custom orthodontic devices used to hold the teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. The appliances prevent the teeth from sliding back to the initial position, i.e., before the brace intervention. Most orthodontists recommend that you wear retainers throughout for the first four to six months.
Importance of Wearing Retainers
As long as you are healthy and active, your teeth will always be shifting. The effects of chewing, growth, and daily wear and tear may cause your teeth to move back to the original position. This process is referred to as relapsing. The retainers hold the teeth in place and help control the shifting.
Unfortunately, putting on retainers can be irritating. However, it is a mild inconvenience compared to the alternative, which involves going through the entire brace treatment process all over again after a few years.
Types of Retainers
There are two basic types of retainers that your orthodontist may recommend-fixed or removable retainers.
There are permanent retainers that consist of a metal wire curved on the lingual side of your front teeth. The orthodontist cements the appliance to the teeth to fit the shape of your straight teeth. Orthodontists may prescribe these retainers to patients whose teeth are more likely to relapse, or children who may not follow instructions on wearing removable sets.
You can easily remove this set of retainers when you are eating or brushing your teeth. Removable retainers common in two types:
Hawley retainers: These retainers have a thin metal wire running across the front of your teeth and are supported by acrylic or plastic that fits your mouth’s roof.
Clear Plastic retainers: These are clear plates that slip over your teeth and are usually unnoticeable to a lot of people.
You will need to be very cautious with removable retainers. Failure to strictly adhere to your orthodontist’s instructions can lead to teeth relapse. And in case you lose your removable retainers, do not forget to have them replaced.
How Long Will You Have to Wear the Retainers?
Your orthodontist will determine the duration that you may need to have your retainers. You may have to wear them for life in some cases, though it depends on the individual.
It is also not unusual for your orthodontist to recommend that you wear the retainers all day for the first six months. Afterward, they can assess your progress and perhaps reduce the frequency to only nighttime. You may also need to replace your retainers after every few years.
Orthodontic care doesn’t necessarily end when you get your braces off. You might need to wear retainers to keep the straightened teeth in their correct position. For more information on retainers and how to take care of them, please contact Smiley Face Braces in Orlando, FL.