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Life After Orthodontics: Do I Really Need Retainers?

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So you’re finally nearing the finish line of your orthodontic treatment. How can you make sure you can keep and maintain your brand new smile?

Our Specialist Orthodontists talk about the six most commonly asked about dental retainers. What are they for and do you really need them?

SEE ALSO: Braces and Beyond

  1. What are orthodontic retainers for?

    The retainers are part of the last phase of orthodontic treatment and are very important since they are responsible in maintaining and holding the alignment of the teeth, and the improvement of the bite after the completion of active orthodontic treatment.

    Teeth that have moved orthodontically have an inherent tendency to return to their original malocclusion positions.

    The need of retention is very important to maintain the stability of the occlusion achieved by the orthodontist and the patient, and the retainers are doing exactly this.

  2. Are there different kinds of retainers?

    There are two different kind of retainers and they are both frequently used:

    Fixed Retainers

    Fixed retainers are usually wires bonded to the back surfaces of lower anterior teeth for aesthetic and prolonged retention. These may be fabricated directly in the mouth or indirectly from an accurate stone model.

    Removable Retainers

    1. Retainers that are made from stainless steel wire and acrylic (Hawley and Wrap-Around retainers)
    2. Clear vacuum formed retainers. These retainers are comfortable and aesthetic because of their invisible appearance.
  3. How often and how long do I have to wear them?

    It is recommended that all the patients have retention maintenance for at least 1 year. Most of the orthodontists use a removable retainer for the upper arch, as most of the relapse occurs in the first 6 months following braces removal, the maxillary retainer is worn fulltime for the first 6 months. After the first 6 months, the patient can go to night wear only and gradually reduce this if there is no pressure areas when seating the retainer. The lower retainer is usually a fixed retainer, which it should be left in place for a longer period even a lifetime.

    Always remember that the answer to the question of long-term stability is long-term retention

  4. Does my orthodontist still need to check my retainers regularly?

    Regardless of the type of orthodontic retainer you have, you should always continue to arrange regularly check-ups with your orthodontist for at least 2 years post treatment.

    To book a consultation with our specialist orthodontists, please give us a call at 043949433 today.
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