Retention after Braces
Once you have completed your orthodontic treatment plan you will need to take measures to keep your new smile in place. Your teeth have just made a journey through your jawbone and soft tissue to land in a new place. Now they need time to settle into their new position. That is where the orthodontic retainer comes in. Your orthodontist will tell you what you can expect while wearing the retainers. Depending on your age at the time your braces come off you may have to wear your retainer for several months or longer. It is common practice for most young people to wear the retainer until their jawbone is no longer growing. That means they may be wearing a retainer into their early 20s. Even though it seems like a very long time in some cases, maintaining a beautiful smile and straight teeth is a great reward for such diligence.
Unfortunately, many young people, college students in particular do not realize the necessity of continuing to wear the retainer until the jawbone stops growing. This results in teeth moving back out of alignment. Resuming the use of the retainer at this point can be uncomfortable or painful if it fits at all. Your orthodontist will explain to you the necessity of the retainers and their importance in keeping your teeth straight.
Removable and Fixed Retainers
There are a variety of retainers available. Your orthodontist will talk to you about the types of retainers that are best for you situation. Removable retainers are very popular with the Hawley retainer and Essix being among the most common in use. The Hawley retainer has a metal wire affixed on an arch made of acrylic. Your orthodontist will need to adjust the wire from time to time to keep the teeth in alignment. The Essix retainer is a vacuum formed retainer and it fits completely over the arch. Fixed retainers are attached to the backside of the teeth.
When it comes time to choose a retainer, our orthodontist will guide you into picking the one that best fits you. It will be important for you to follow doctor’s recommendations so you can keep your vibrant new smile in great shape. Contact our office today to schedule an apppointment.