You may think that your orthodontic time is done once your braces come off; however, this isn't the end of your treatment as a whole. Your teeth are straight now, but they won't necessarily stay straight. Once braces come off, teeth tend to drift back into their original positions. They'll do this until they get used to being in their new positions in your jaw. So, your orthodontist usually asks you to wear a retainer to hold your teeth in place until things stabilise. Retainers don't move teeth like braces do; they hold them in position. This could work in a couple of ways. What are they?
The most commonly used post-brace retainer is removable. These devices usually have a strip of wire attached to a plate. You'll have one plate for your top teeth and one for your bottom set. The wire on these retainers is moulded to the exact shape of your teeth after they've been braced. Once your retainer is in, it holds the teeth in their new positions.
You often don't have to wear these retainers at all during the day but will be asked to wear them at night. However, if your orthodontist wants to give your teeth extra initial support, they may tell you to wear the braces during the day as well as at night to start with before switching to night-time use.
Fixed retainers are worn permanently for as long as you need to wear them. They also use wires to keep teeth in place, but these wires tend to be positioned on the back of the teeth rather than the front. They can hold your newly moved teeth in place from this position well enough.
Fixed retainers tend to be used only when they are needed. For example, if your orthodontist thinks that your teeth are more likely to move than normal, then they will want you to wear a retainer all the time until the teeth are under control. In some cases, you may be asked to wear a fixed retainer for a while until the risk of significant movement has passed. At this point, your orthodontist may switch you to a removable version.
Your orthodontist will have an idea what type of retainers you're likely to need before you have your braces fitted. However, bear in mind that you won't know exactly how much extra help your teeth will need until after your braces come off.Share
29 January 2019
Miranda Raff here. My brother is a stressed-out dental student, so I'm starting this blog on his behalf. I work in a travel agency and my brother is mortified by the number of dental tourism stories I bring home. I book short holidays for people who seem as though they are going to enjoy some relaxation in an exotic country, only to learn that they plan to have cheap dental procedures. Whilst there are good dentists in developing countries, according to my brother, the complex procedures these people plan to have simply can't be finished in such a limited time. This blog is an attempt to inform you about the high skill levels and advanced technology found in Australian dental surgeries. New techniques are being developed every year and Australian dentists are at the forefront of offering these solutions. I really hope this blog helps you to appreciate our dentists.