Most common question when it comes to braces and teeth straightening is retainer. Do I need retainer after braces ? Yes you do!
You know before your braces were fitted your teeth were fixed and did not show signs of mobility and shortly after braces were fitted you started feeling them becoming a bit wobbly. That is the result of teeth and their roots moving through the bone to the new position so you can have this new smile you always wanted. Through the entire treatment they are attached to wire or sitting inside your aligner if you have chosen one of the invisible braces systems. Now imagne that this “guidance” is suddenly removed.
What happens then?
I like to compare it to little kid learning to walk or teenagers when parents are away on holidays. How likely is that if you stop holding a little one who can not walk on its own he or she will keep walking? How likely is that when parents are away you do not throw party or go wild partying?
It’s nature so your teeth will do the same !
Thats exactly why you should listen to your orthodontist or dentist and if they say you need to have retainer after braces that means you really do need one! And you better listen to them otherwise you will end up needing braces again.
Now, lets see what options do you have? Two most common options are:
- fixed retainer
- removable retainer
Fixed retainer is basically short chain or wire permanently fitted on the back of your teeth with composite material.
Removable retainer is vacuum formed, clear device and it fits over your teeth.
So what is the best option for me, you ask?
Best would be to discuss that prior to your braces fit appointment with your dentist or orthodontist . Why prior to braces ? Beacuse different teeth straightening systems require different timescale and protocol of retention.
Some of them will require wearing removable retainer every night, some will require wearing it day and night with gradual reduction in hours over months or years to come. And finally some will say both fixed and removable.
Your best shot of keeping your teeth straight in my experence is having both. Fitted retainer on a back of the teeth and removable retainer over the teeth.
However whatever you decide to do make sure that you uderstand that most of the fast / short term teeth straightening systems will require a LIFTIME retention.