Maintaining Your Best Smile With A Retainer
Often when people think about braces, or clear aligner treatment such as Invisalign, they are under the assumption that their treatment results after 24 months are ‘fixed’ or ‘permanent’. In some ways this is true, however in order to maintain the best possible smile and tooth alignment position, a retainer is required after your treatment has concluded, for a duration recommended by your orthodontist.
Essentially, retainers are used after your treatment to hold your teeth in their correct alignment. During your braces or clear aligner treatment, your teeth are constantly moving. So it’s important that once treatment is completed, a retainer is worn until your jaw bones develop and increase the sturdiness of your new tooth position.
What are the different types of retainers offered at Oasis Orthodontics?
At Oasis Orthodontics, our specialist orthodontist Dr Anthony Hopkins uses two types of retainers, those being permanent ‘fixed’ retainers and removable retainers. The type of retainer used in your case will depend on which type Dr Hopkins believes is most suitable for your case, and holding your teeth in their new, aligned position.
As the name suggests, a fixed retainer involves a thin, fixed wire placed either in front or behind some or all of the teeth. This wire is fixed in place to ensure your teeth remain in the correct position and is selectively used by Dr Hopkins to tailor to your treatment needs.
The second type of retainer, a removable retainer, is a thin, clear BPA free plastic tray that is custom molded to your teeth in correct alignment and is more commonly used by Dr Hopkins. This style of aligner offers the benefit of flexible usage, and in some cases may only be required to be worn at night. However, it is important that you always follow your orthodontists guidelines for how to wear your removable retainer.
What happens if I don’t wear my retainer after orthodontic treatment?
It’s not uncommon for patients who have a removable retainer to forget to wear their retainer from time to time, it happens. However, it is essential that you follow your orthodontist’s guidelines about when to wear your retainer. Failing to do so, can result in your tooth alignment deviating away from your orthodontist’s plan, and reverting closer to your pre-orthodontic treatment alignment.
If you forget to wear your retainer for some time, it is likely that your retainer will no longer fit you correctly, as your teeth will have shifted. If this has happened, it is important to book in a consultation with your orthodontist to get a new retainer fitted.
If you would like to find out more about orthodontic treatment, or you require a consultation regarding post treatment aligners. You can call our practice on (08) 6169 1699 or by booking a consultation online.