Many patients who have undertaken Orthodontic Treatment experience a phenomenon known as Orthodontic relapse which is defined by the loss of any correction achieved by the treatment. This is due to inadequate guidance on how to maintain the alignment of the teeth using retainers post treatment, and therefore teeth start to move back to the original position.
It is a common misconception that a retainer must be worn for only 1 year after treatment for teeth to retain their alignment; however, this is not the case. A retainer must be worn for as long as a patient wants their teeth to stay straight.
For as long as we live, our bones have the ability to change and remodel; this is how broken bones are able to mend. Due to this fact, between the ages 20-50 our teeth are constantly trying to move, attempting to push forward resulting in overcrowding of the lower front teeth. Unfortunately, wisdom tooth extraction, and previous orthodontic treatment will not prevent this from happening. Therefore, it is advisable that adults,regardless of if they have had braces in the past, invest in a retainer to wear at night if they want their teeth to remain in their current position.
There are two types of retainers we offer here at Vitality Dental and Optical Care. One of which is the removable retainer; patients are provided with an upper and lower retainer, which is hard plastic and custom-made. This must be worn every night to hold teeth in position.
The other type of retainer we offer is a Bonded Retainer; this is a stainless steel flexible wire that is bonded to the inside of the upper and lower front teeth. This method is better suited for patients who are more likely to forget to wear their removable retainer every night. Patients who opt for this type of retainer may find it challenging to maintain good oral health, as a build-up of calculus can occur around the wire due to the inability to clean it properly. However, our staff here at Vitality will provide full instructions on how to brush and floss properly to prevent this from ever being a problem.