After undergoing orthodontic treatment, the excitement and satisfaction we experience once we finally get our braces removed are undoubtedly unmatched. However, most of us don’t understand that having our braces removed isn’t the end of our orthodontic treatment journey.
After this removal, you will officially begin the most important stage of your orthodontic journey, the retention phase! According to the American Association of Orthodontists, this is a very critical stage in the orthodontic treatment process to keep your smile happy and healthy!
Our team at LevelUp Orthodontics wants you to know what the retention phase entails and why it is essential to your smile!
WHAT IS THE RETENTION PHASE ?
The retention phase is the stage after active orthodontic treatment when your braces are finally removed. This period is extremely fundamental since it is aimed at ensuring that your teeth maintain their new position. This is undoubtedly vital for the long-term stability and success of your orthodontic treatment. In order to retain the results of your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will prescribe retainers.
WHAT ARE RETAINERS ?
Retainers are metal or plastic pieces that are often prescribed after you have your braces or Invisalign removed. As we all know, orthodontic treatment is aimed at aligning your teeth. This alignment often causes a shift in the position of your teeth and the bone that holds your teeth.
Therefore, retainers are extremely crucial since they:
- Allow the bone that holds the teeth to rebuild after your teeth acquire a new position.
- Maintain the new, healthy teeth positions that result from orthodontic treatment.
Without the retention phase, your teeth can readjust and go back to their previous unhealthy positions. To avoid this relapse, our team at LevelUp Orthodontics always reminds our patients that the success of the orthodontic treatment largely depends on their compliance during the retention phase.
According to recent studies, it can take up to a year after the removal of your braces or Invisalign for your teeth to finally settle into their new positions. The duration you may need to wear retainers also varies depending on your compliance with your orthodontist’s guidelines!
TYPES OF RETAINERS
At our office, we offer the two most common types of retainers:
- Removable– Inserted and removed by the patient.
- Permanent– Placed and removed by your orthodontist.
In addition, removable retainers often come in two categories:
- Wire: Wire retainers usually comprise wire and a plastic-like material. In most cases, they are often customized with different colors or logos so as to give them a personal touch.
- Clear: On the other hand, clear retainers are transparent pieces made of thermoplastic and designed in a shape that is a replica of your teeth.
Dr. Gage and our highly skilled orthodontic team will advise you on the best retainer for your smile based on your pre-treatment situation and various orthodontic needs. If our team prescribes removable retainers, we will teach you how to insert, remove, and care for your retainer!
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO WEAR MY RETAINER ?
We recommend wearing your retainers full-time for the first six months of the retention phase. However, if you have removable retainers, then you can remove them when eating, flossing, or brushing your teeth.
After this period, we may have you only wear your retainers at night, which is often done long-term. Additionally, our team closely follows up on our patients’ progress by scheduling regular check-ups to ensure that the retainer is working effectively!
Please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information on orthodontic treatment! We’d be delighted to speak to you about our services, such as: InBrace, Invisalign, and Damon braces. Schedule an appointment with us today!READ MORE