It is extremely import to continue retention even after your Invisalign or braces treatment has ended.
What happens at the end of your braces journey?
Your braces finally come off! You’re free, happy, loving life and admiring your new smile. You go through your days with every excuse to show off your perfect, pearly whites. At first, you wear your retainer every evening. Then you come home from a late night out with the girls (or boys) and you jump straight into bed. You’re staying at a friend’s house the night after, so you can’t wear it then either. So the days go on and you’re wearing your retainer less and less. The day you finally put it on, it’s tight and uncomfortable so you resolve that you just won’t wear it anymore.
A year later, you look in the mirror and noticed your teeth have shifted. You shrug your shoulders – no one has said anything yet and you continue on with your life. A couple more years down the track and it’s almost as if you’ve never had braces before. Then you think to yourself, why? How could this happen? Why did I do this to myself? Will I have to go through braces again? More often or not, the answer is yes.
The fact of the matter is that you had the chance! You’ve gone through years of the agony and the embarrassing discomfort of your life with braces. It is extremely important to maintain the retention routine (for life – yes! Life!) to ensure that your smile stays straight and beautiful as the day of your last orthodontic appointment!
What are the types of retention methods?
Clear retainers are much like Invisalign Aligners. They are made of clear plastic and aimed to prevent your teeth from moving. They are known to have a shorter life span then metal retainers and are slightly more difficult to clean.
Metal Retainers come in either acrylic or plastic and fixed with a flexible metal wire. The wire sits along the front side of your teeth and the acrylic or plastic is moulded to fit exactly inside the top of your mouth. This type of retainer offers the convenience of future adjustments as our dentist can continue to fine-tune any movements. It is long lasting and easy to sanitize.
Permanent retainers and bonded perpetually to the back of your teeth. This method retains teeth successfully and remains well hidden. Permanent retainers aren’t suitable for everyone, depending on your bite. They can be difficult to clean and require special floss but it is a great option for those who like the freedom of not having to wear a retainer to bed each night!
Why is retention important?
Teeth that are not retained in their new positions will move! It is like coming home from a long day of work or school and the first thing you get into is your fat pants. You’re comfortable, you’re free and it’s what you’re used to. You’re not going to come home from work and stay in your business suit or come home from uni and stay in your tight jeans – it’s just unnatural! This applies to your teeth. They will go back to their natural, original positions.
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