Life After Braces
Congratulations! You now have a brand new, straight smile! While we want you to enjoy your new found freedom there are some things to consider to keep your new smile straight and healthy for life.
The fact that you have completed orthodontic treatment does not ensure a lifetime of perfectly straight teeth. After braces are removed we provide retainers to support your teeth in their new position whilst the bone around them becomes firmer. Retainers can be fixed (glued on) or removable. Removable retainers have the advantage that brushing and flossing are far quicker and more effective. However, fixed retainers do not rely on compliance.
Initially, removable retainers are worn 24 hrs a day but soon only for ten hours (mainly at nights). Most patients continue to wear retainers until beyond the end of growth, and until well after the wisdom teeth have been removed (if necessary).
As retainer wear is free, easy and effective, many patients continue wearing for many years into the future.
Some tooth movement is likely to occur after braces are removed even when wearing retainers. Often this movement is so slight it is unnoticeable. However, proper retainer compliance is essential to minimize movement. Patients who do not faithfully wear their retainers can see a major shifting of their teeth and encounter other adverse effects.
After one to three years of wearing retainers and removal of wisdom teeth, the teeth are as stable as can be expected. Any change after that time is due to natural causes, including growth and maturation which continue throughout life. Shifting of the teeth occurs even in people who have not had orthodontic treatment. Therefore slight irregularity, particularly of the lower front teeth, may sometimes have to be accepted as the best possible result under the circumstances.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of patients achieve a significant improvement in the position of the teeth and maintain that improvement for many years, and believe the investment in their smile has been well worthwhile!
We recommend you continue to visit your dentist on a regular basis after receiving orthodontic treatment. They will be able to keep an assessment of any movement and advise you on any other dental problems that may occur.
If you are experiencing any problems with your fixed retainer or you lose you removable retainer you can still call and make an appointment at Greater Springfield Orthodontics, even after your braces have been removed. We want you to keep your straight, healthy smile for life and will continue to see patients with any concerns even after their orthodontic treatment has officially concluded.
If you are unsure whether to make an appointment with us or if your regular dentist would be more appropriate simply call and discuss your options with the friendly staff. We will be able to advise you and ensure you get the treatment you need.