Holding the correction is a very important part of any orthodontic treatment plan and retainers are used to maintain tooth alignment and prevent unwanted tooth movement after treatment is completed.
Future tooth movement after treatment can occur for a number of reasons:
As the teeth stabilise into their new positions
The tendency for some teeth to try to return to their previous position
Facial growth which causes different pressures to act on the teeth
As part of the ageing process
Retainers may be either removable or fixed.
Removable retainers are usually pressure-formed clear plastic shells which are worn 12 hours a day for the first few months, reducing to 2 or 3 nights a week on a long-term basis.
Fixed retainers consist of a small piece of wire invisibly bonded to the inside of the front teeth, mainly the lowers, which remain in place for a long period of time.
Often both types of retainers are used together. We will advise you which is the best technique for your individual needs.
Our advice at Orthokind is to continue wearing retainers on a long-term basis to ensure there is no future loss of alignment. Should a patient decide not to continue with retention, which they are perfectly entitled to do, they may have to accept some loss of alignment over time, and in a few cases this can be significant enough to necessitate re-treatment.