The Importance of Orthodontic Retention
Maintaining Your Orthodontic Results
It’s a wonderful moment when your orthodontic treatment is complete. When your braces are removed, or when your Invisalign or other treatment is complete, you finally get to see your new, gorgeous smile. At Brocks Gap Orthdontics, we all believe that you deserve a chance to celebrate. Not only do you have a beautiful smile, but you have also taken steps in the direction of protecting your long-term dental health. Still, there are some factors you need to keep in mind to maintain and retain all the work that has been done.
Since you’re alive, which is a great thing, the tissue in your mouth is prone to changing and shifting, meaning your teeth can continue to move even after the initial treatment is complete. This is a perfectly normal process, and orthodontic retention is important for all patients.
Life with Your Retainer
The goal of retention is to keep your teeth in proper alignment. If you don’t wear your retainer, you risk your teeth shifting back to their previous, pre-treatment positions. It is important to wear your retainer for the recommended amount of time.
When you first get your retainer, you may notice slight difficulties when speaking. With a bit of practice and time, your speech should be back to normal once your tongue gets used to working with this new device in your mouth. You won’t need to wear a retainer around-the-clock for the rest of your life. You will be able to step down your retainer time eventually. Together, we will develop a plan for that timeline based on your specific orthodontic needs.
Caring for Your Retainer
Just as you keep your teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing, it is also important to take care of your retainers. You should take them out before brushing, flossing, and eating. And just as you brush your teeth, you should brush your retainers to make sure bacteria and plaque don’t build up.
If they are removable, always be sure to put them in a case when they are not in use, and keep them away from the likes of pockets, hot car dashboards, and washing machines. As well, it should be noted that fixed retainers do require a bit more effort when flossing. In these cases, small threaders are used to help pass floss through the spaces between the teeth and retainer.
We’re happy to help if you have any questions at all about which retainer is right for you and your smile.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that you have your child’s first orthodontic checkup by the age of seven.
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