The primary goal of orthodontic treatment for Canadians is the increased confidence and self-esteem it provides. There's nothing quite like the moment when your braces come off, and you admire your straight teeth.
The problem is that the feeling doesn't last forever. Your beautiful teeth can return right back to their prior position without the right care, and it becomes difficult to fix.
Read on to learn about your options after orthodontic treatment in Calgary.
What's a Retainer and Why Do I Need One?
Once you've had orthodontic treatment in Calgary and your braces come off, you enter a state called retention. This is when you'll have to wear a post-orthodontic treatment known as retainers.
They're custom-made appliances made out of metal or plastic that sit on the top of your mouth. They're typically worn at night.
Not wearing them causes what's known as an orthodontic relapse, where your teeth go back into the position that they were in before you wore braces. You also need them to:
· Stabilize your bite
· Maintain space for wisdom teeth or new teeth
· Align your jawbones with your gums
Wearing them is so important because they straighten teeth and keep the mouth healthy.
What Are the Different Types of Retainers?
Your post-orthodontic treatment options include several types of retainers. They can be permanent or removable.
Permanent fixed lingual retainers are bonded to the back of your front teeth with wires. They don't need to be removed but can be difficult to clean.
Removable Hawley wire retainers are made of bendable wires and acrylic that go over the front side of your upper and lower teeth. They're more adjustable and easier to clean than other types.
Clear plastic retainers are almost invisible and not as bulky, so they don't affect your speech. They also don't allow the upper and lower teeth to touch naturally and wear out sooner.
Speak to your orthodontist to find the best one for you. They'll fit it for you when your braces come off, though it may take 24-48 hours for them to arrive. You'll get instructions on how long to wear them and how to clean them.
How Can I Care for My Retainer?
Remove any removable retainer when you engage in activities such as:
· Playing sports
· Brushing your teeth
Store them in a retainer case instead of a tissue or napkin, so you don't accidentally throw them away.
13% of Canadians never floss. You need to do it to get between the wires of a fixed retainer and avoid plaque buildup. Wash removable retainers with lukewarm water and clean them with denture cleaners.
Continue with regular dental checkups with your dentist. They’ll check for an anomaly and recommend the right course of treatment.
What can I do if my retainers wear out and I loose them?
The problem with orthodontics, such as braces, is that they can't keep your teeth in place forever. You need to maintain your new smile with a permanent or removable retainer.
Wear it as long as you need to and clean it well. Return for regular checkups with your dentist to have it checked.
Visit Bite Dental Works to help maintain your treatment in Calgary today.