Orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign can be a significant investment of time, effort, and money. After months or even years of wearing bracket and wires or clear aligners, you might be eager to show off your new straight smile to the world. However, it’s important to remember that the work doesn’t stop when the orthodontic devices come off. In fact, one of the most critical phases of orthodontic treatment is the retention phase.
Retention is the period of time after braces or Invisalign is completed when patients are required to wear a retainer to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Wearing retainers is a life-long commitment that shouldn’t be ignored.
What Retention Does For Your Teeth
The importance of retention cannot be overstated. While braces and Invisalign are designed to gradually shift the teeth into their desired positions, the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth also need time to adapt to the new positions. Without retention, these tissues will try to pull the teeth back to their original positions, which can undo all of the progress that was made during the orthodonitc phase.
Types of Post Orthodontic Retention
There are several different types of retainers that can be used during the retention phase, and Z Dentistry can do it all!
- Fixed retainers – Tiny, thin wires that are bonded to the backs of the front teeth, typically on the top and bottom.
- Removable retainers – Clear, thin, yet durable trays, which are worn at night
- A combined solution – Dr. Z may suggest a combination of both fixed and removable retainers in certain situations.
Regardless of the type of post-orthodontic retention method, it will be customized to fit your teeth for a comfortable, perfect fit.
Caring For Your New Retainers
It’s also important to follow your dentist’s instructions for retainer wear and care. This might include wearing the retainer for a specific amount of time each day, keeping the retainer clean, and bringing the retainer to your follow-up appointments at Z Dentistry.
You might be tempted to skip the retention phase or stop wearing your retainer when it feels like your teeth have stabilized. However, doing so can lead to a relapse where your teeth shift right back to their original position. It happens to many patients, and usually requires additional orthodontic treatment down the line.
In conclusion, orthodontic retention is a crucial phase of treatment that should not be overlooked. By following Dr. Z’s instructions for retainer wear and care, you can help ensure that your new smile lasts a lifetime. Remember, the investment you made in your orthodontic treatment is valuable, and proper retention is essential for protecting that investment.
Don’t Let Your Teeth Shift — Get Your Clear Retainers Now!
Dr. Z can recommend which type of post-orthodontic retainers are best for you and get you in a customized solution quickly. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a visit.