Following all orthodontic treatment regardless of the method used it is important to have a period of retention to maintain the new alignment. The reason for this is because teeth need time to stabilise; they have been used to moving throughout their orthodontic treatment and it takes a while for them to adapt.If you do not wish your teeth to move from their final position then the retainer is considered a lifelong commitment.
The most stable and ideal form of retention involves fixed retainers behind the upper and lower teeth. These are thin multi-stranded wires adapted to fit accurately to the surface of the teeth and are then bonded into position. At present materials generally last for several years and should be considered items for long term. When sign of wear or failure of these retainers appearance they should be repaired or replaced with new.
Removable retainers are also recommended to overlay the teeth as well as wire retainers, using thin plastic slips worn on your teeth at night. They are generally worn for six to twelve months after which they are phased out and kept as back-ups. All this is a commonplace regime following orthodontic treatment and one which is easily managed as well as worthwhile if an improved alignment and appearance are to be maintained.
Retainers are a very important part of your treatment plan, as they will help you to keep the results you've achieved by wearing a brace. I take the time to carefully explain the role of retainers before you begin your treatment.
Dr Fern Jean-Joseph, Specialist Orthodontist