Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Life After Braces

You have worked hard to improve your smile and now it’s time for those braces to come off. But, you’re not finished yet there is still one more step to having the amazing smile you desire.

Once your braces are removed it is possible for teeth to want to return back to their original positions. To prevent all the hard work of your orthodontist from going down the drain, you must wear your retainer. Retainers, like the name states, retain your teeth in their new positions. How often you have to wear your retainer depends on the directions given to you by the doctor, which also depends on the type of retainer you have.

There are three types of retainers that are often used:

Photo provided by globaldentalsolutions.com
The Hawley retainer is the most commonly used appliance for post-braces treatment. This retainer is available for both the upper and lower arches. It is often referred to as wire retainer for its design, wires attached to plastic body.

Photo provided by dentalkit.com
The Essix is a removable clear retainer. Made from a cast of your teeth, it’s worn to retain the corrected position of teeth. Unlike the wire retainer, this clear retainer allows for total discretion. At first, it must be worn for 24 hours and then it only has to be worn at night.

Photo provided by Ortholab.com

The Fixed retainer is a non-adjustable appliance that consists of a metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth. There is an advantage to this non-adjustable retainer. Unlike removable retainers that can be forgotten and lost this fixed retainer doesn't have that issue. Though it cannot be removed it is not permanent and can be broken or detached from your teeth if you are not careful.

Remember, your retainer is an important part of getting the smile you want. So once you've picked the retainer that is right for you, you must wear the retainer as instructed by the Doctor. 

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