After a year and half of braces, the day they finally come off is worthy of celebration! Unfortunately, that’s not the end of your journey to perfect teeth. Braces are designed to reshape your teeth, correcting problems like overcrowding and unevenness. As braces apply pressure to your mouth to realign the teeth, when that pressure is removed, it’s natural for your teeth to want to return to their natural position which is why you need a retainer after braces.
So, the orthodontist has managed to correct your crooked teeth and now you have a smile that lights up the world. The only problem is, your teeth are fighting back. Just like a climbing rose or a sapling that’s been trained to grow in a specific direction, once the ties or lattice holding the plant are removed, it will naturally readjust. Your teeth are very similar and tend to shift over time. A retainer is used to help maintain the hard work done by your braces so that perfect smile lasts a lifetime.
There are a couple of different types of retainers available so let’s have a look at the options and which one is best for you.
Designed to stay in your mouth for a long period, fixed retainers consist of a thin wire that stretches across the back of your teeth and is held in place with a permanent bond. Unobtrusive as they are, fixed retainers are easy to forget about but do require a little extra care when brushing and flossing. Fixed retainers stop your teeth from shifting out of their new line-up.
One of the benefits of a fixed retainer is that you can’t forget to wear it and it can become something you don’t even think about. On the downside, they do break from time to time and often the wearer is unaware of the problem until their teeth start to move. At that point, they will either need to get the retainer fixed or revert to braces to correct the movement.
As with braces, people wearing fixed retainers need to be careful about what they eat and avoid hard or sticky foods that may cause it to break.
Almost invisible and easy to remove and clean, these are preferable insofar as they can be taken out. Specialists at Simply Orthodontists recommend wearing a retainer permanently for the first three months after your braces have come off. After this, you may be able to reduce it to only wearing overnight and for a few hours during the day. Made from a combination of wire and acrylic material, these are easy to insert, remove and clean but also very easy to lose! You also need to remember to reinsert it daily.
Removable retainers are easy to wear and almost invisible. As they can be removed, they’re also easy to clean and mean you can enjoy the stickiest of sticky toffee pudding without worrying about breakage. On the other hand, unlike permanent retainers, it’s up to the wearer to remember to put it in and to look after it when removed. Losing your retainer will incur a replacement cost.
Unlike some dentists, the highly trained and experienced staff at Simply Orthodontics won’t try to pressure you into deciding one way or the other. We understand that everyone is different and respect that, while giving you the best advice and the latest treatments to maintain the smile you’ve always dreamed of. If you are uncertain about wearing a retainer after braces, contact one of our experts today for more information.