Quality Orthodontic Care In East China & New Baltimore Areas
As your orthodontic treatment is nearing its end, you start to countdown the days when your braces can come off. You look forward to the feeling of being able to eat what you want and running your tongue over your smooth teeth. At Brieden Orthodontics, we strive to provide comfortable and high-quality orthodontic treatment so that all our patients can experience a healthy and beautiful smile. Dr. Christopher M. Brieden and his team want you to be prepared for the next step after braces because even on this happy occasion, you're not quite done with orthodontic treatment yet. The next phase and the most important phase to maintaining your straight smile is called retention.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RETENTION
Retention is a critical follow-up stage after braces that involves wearing an orthodontic appliance called a retainer. There are several different kinds of retainers available, all of which are custom-made just for you. Dr. Brieden will recommend the type that will work best in your situation and will advise exactly when and how long you need to wear retainers to get the most out of your completed treatment.
If you don’t wear a retainer after your orthodontic treatment, your teeth will start moving back to where they were before braces. This is because teeth aren't set rigidly in the jawbone and are held in place by a network of fibers called the periodontal ligaments. After your teeth have been moved, it takes time for the periodontal ligaments to adjust to the new position.
Three Types of Retainers
There are three basic types of retainers available that are suitable for maintaining your smile.
The Hawley Retainer
This is the most common type of retainer used after braces. It is a thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic molded to fit your mouth, with a wire that holds your teeth in position. The Hawley retainer is simple, durable, and easily removed. Personalization is available by choosing different colors and designs for the plastic arch.
The Clear Aligner
Another popular style of retainer is the clear aligner type, which looks similar to Invisalign aligners. These retainers are custom-made of a thin, transparent plastic that is designed to fit over your teeth. They are practically invisible to others and are easy to remove.
As their name implies, they aren't removable by the wearer — but they aren't visible either. Like lingual braces, this system uses a wire which is bonded to the tongue side of the teeth. It may remain in place for many years. This type of retainer is recommended when there's a high risk that teeth could revert to their former position.
After a short time, most people adjust quite well to wearing a retainer. Some may find that they produce more saliva than usual for a day or so after first wearing any type of retainer — a normal reaction to a foreign object in the mouth. You may also find it a little harder to talk normally at first, but that problem will soon disappear. Of course, removable retainers should always be taken out when you eat or brush your teeth.
Top 10 Things to Know About Retainers
These are the Top Ten Things You Should Know About Retainers:
- Bottom Line: There is no such thing as permanent correction without permanent retention. That means that you must wear your retainer(s) for as long as you would like your teeth to stay straight.
- If you think you hear someone in our office say “you can stop wearing your retainers now”, this is NOT correct.
- To clean your retainer, brush it with cold water and a small amount of toothpaste. You may also soak it in peroxide to clean or use the Ultrasonic Retainer cleaner available for purchase in our offices. NEVER USE DENTURE CLEANER to clean retainers; it is too harsh and will damage them. (Refer to number 9 below.
- If you lose a retainer, call us immediately—don’t wait until the teeth start to shift.
- Always store your retainer in the case when it is not in your mouth. Best places to lose a retainer: in a napkin or the school cafeteria.
- Retainers do not shrink—if yours gets tight it is because you are not wearing it enough.
- We will send you a reminder to come for your retainer check, but it is your responsibility to actually come to the appointment.
- We will see you for 14 months to check your retainers; this is included in the original fee, after this time there will be an office visit fee of $45.
- There will be a charge to repair or replace a retainer.
- Your dog will eat them.
Call Your East China & New Baltimore Area Orthodontist Today!
The retention phase is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. Retainers allow you to maintain your newly straightened smile and ensure that the investment you made in your orthodontic treatment is not wasted. That is why it is important to follow your retention instructions as prescribed by Dr. Brieden. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. To learn more about retention and retainers, schedule an appointment with Brieden Orthodontics today. We’re always happy to discuss your retention options in more detail!