Life after braces
For all orthodontic patients it’s a momentous occasion the day they have their braces removed. Smiling back at them is a set of beautifully straight teeth, the result of months wearing of an orthodontic appliance.
But treatment isn’t over yet and, in fact, the most important phase of treatment is about to begin. To keep your newly straightened pearly whites straight, it’s important to wear retainers.
What are retainers?
Retainers are the final phase of treatment and are designed to hold your newly straightened teeth in position. During your time in treatment, the orthodontic appliance you have been wearing has moved your teeth but there needs to be time for your teeth and the muscles around them to settle down. If they don’t, your teeth could move back into their original position.
There are three different types of retainers that can help keep your teeth straight:
Removable retainers: These retainers look much like sports mouthguards or Invisalign aligners. They are custom-made to fit over your teeth but are virtually invisible. Initially, you will be advised to wear your retainers for 24 hours a day, but after a period of a few months, or as advised by your orthodontist, you can then start wearing them only at night.
Fixed retainers: This type of retainer consists of a wire fitted to the back surface of your teeth. Once you get accustomed to wearing it you won’t even notice it’s there.
Plate retainer: Another option is a plate-like apparatus which can be removed. Your orthodontist will recommend the best type of retainer for your teeth and your lifestyle.
Why it’s important to wear your retainer
Your orthodontist and the orthodontic team looking after you during your treatment will tell you that wearing your retainer is essential. You may wonder why, when your teeth are already nice and straight. But as mentioned above, your retainer is like an insurance policy to ensure that your teeth don’t move back into their original position. The last thing you want is all the cost and effort of orthodontic treatment being wasted.
Start your journey to a beautiful new smile
Ready to find out which type of braces would be best for you? Search for your nearest TIO member clinic and book an initial consultation with them. Your chosen orthodontist will be able to advise you which braces will achieve the best results.