Did you finally get rid of braces? Then, you must be smiling every time so everyone can see your new improved smile. But remember, to maintain the results achieved after the orthodontic treatment and to keep your new smile and bite, you can’t stop using retainers. Retainers can help you maintain a perfect smile after braces.
Is Necessary to Wear Retainers After Braces?
The retainers are used to hold the teeth in their new positions after braces are removed.
For the bone and the tissues that surround the teeth, it is necessary a period of time to reorganize, as well as for the bite to stabilize. During this time retainers should be used to avoid having a relapse that causes the teeth to move to their old positions.
An orthodontic relapse occurs when the elastic fibers of the gum, that were stretched whit the use of braces, try to pull the teeth again to their original position. The use of retainers helps to maintain the teeth in their new places while the fibers of the gum adapt.
Do I Have to Use Retainers Every time?
There are two types of retainers:
Fixed Retainers: this type of retainers consist of a thin stainless steel wire that is permanently bonded with cement across the upper front or the back of the lower teeth.
The fixed retainers can proportion better outcomes as with this method the teeth are constantly held into their new positions. This retainer is also comfortable and not visible, its only disadvantage is that it require more work to keep the hygiene.
Removable Retainers: the removable type of retainers consist on a thin transparent gum shield that fits over the teeth. The removable retainers are custom-made taking impressions of your teeth after removing the braces, to make sure they will fit perfectly.
Removable retainers make easier to maintain the oral hygiene since they can be removed to clean the teeth. But this type of retainer also has its disadvantage since they can be damaged or lost easily.
In the case of choosing the removable retainers, the orthodontist will recommend you to wear them all day and all night for at least the first months, removing them only to eat, brush your teeth and when playing sports. If there’s no sign that shows that the teeth have moved after the first months of use, your orthodontist could give you instructions to wear the retainers only a few hours in the daytime or only at night.
For How Long Should I Wear Retainers?
An orthodontist will prescribe you how much time you need to use retainers according to your conditions.
Fixed retainers are usually instructed by an orthodontist to wear during 5 years, while the removable retainers can be recommended to use full-time for some months and then only at night if there are not visible relapse signs.