Maintaining straight teeth following Orthodontics – Retainers.
Maintaining straight teeth following Orthodontics – Retainers.
Maintaining straight teeth following Orthodontics – Retainers.

Maintaining straight teeth following Orthodontics – Retainers.

29/09/2023

It is important to follow Retainer guidelines set down by your Orthodontist to keep your teeth straight following treatment.

If you wish to maintain good tooth alignment over the months and years following treatment your Orthodontist will recommend ongoing Retainer wear that will be reduced but never stopped altogether.

You’ve arrived at the finish line of treatment and have achieved your best possible smile- congratulations!

Now to keep them straight, it is important to follow the guidelines set down by your Orthodontist.

The most recent science tells us that in order to maintain your Smile for the long term, some form of Retention must be worn indefinitely.

For removable retainers you would have been given a set of instructions related to how often to wear, clean and care for them. This will ensure the best fit possible. 

In the course of daily Retainer wear mishaps can occur, such as loss or breakages. It is important to act fast and contact your Orthodontist for advice because the sooner these problems are resolved, the more likely you are to maintain your straight teeth!

Broken Retainers – Although they are designed to last for many months, Retainers can be snapped or broken as they are inserted and removed if not handled with care. Always use two hands when taking them in and out and never bite them into position. Over time retainers may develop holes in them if you are prone to tooth grinding. It is better to wear away the plastic of the retainer and later replace it than to damage your tooth enamel. Retainers with this kind of wear may still be functional for some time, consult with your Orthodontist who will advise when it is time to consider replacing them.

Lost Retainers- Always store your Removable Retainers in the case that was issued. Out of the mouth they are fragile and can be misplaced and damaged. A common way to accidentally discard retainers is on the aeroplane or fast -food tray. We also see a good many “stolen” and chewed up by the family pet! If regularly stored in the correct case when not being worn these losses can be minimised.

Bonded Retainers

We receive a good many enquiries about Bonded Retainers. Typically the question posed is “My friend told me to make sure I receive the Bonded Wire on the back of my teeth once my Braces are removed” -Yes, when the situation is indicated we do recommend and use these types of retention. However, they come with additional and ongoing maintenance costs and are never used instead of Removable Retainers. They are viewed as added “Security” placed and worn in addition to Removable Retainers.

It is not advisable to rely only on a Bonded Retainer to keep your teeth well aligned as the first sign that it is broken or failed will be that the teeth have moved. Bonded Retainers are considered a medium -term type of retention and will over time break and fail. You will then be faced with additional time and cost commitments to remove or replace the appliance. Special care must be taken to brush and floss well every day around Bonded Retainers to ensure that tooth decay and gum disease does not become established in the area. It is for these reasons that they are not routine for every patient.

Remember- If you wish to maintain good tooth alignment over the months and years following treatment your Orthodontist will recommend ongoing Retainer wear that will be reduced but never stopped altogether. This minimal long term wear is a small sacrifice to pay to ensure that you keep that fabulous smile!

 

 

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