Types of braces and retainers:
The orthodontist may use different types of braces based on the treatment requirement and patients preference. The commonly used braces are Metal Braces and Ceramic Braces:
The conventional metal braces are made of high-quality stainless steel which do not corrode even in the acidic environment of the oral cavity and are designed to last a long time in such environments. These brackets are stuck on to the teeth with the special glue. Wires are then placed to apply force onto the teeth to move them to a desirable position. If you don’t like metal showing in your mouth, we also have different options to choose from.
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth. Your Orthodontist can even use tooth-colored wires which are even less noticeable.
However, they are more expensive than metal braces. You may discuss with your Orthodontist whether ceramic braces or metal braces are better suited for your condition and needs.
Retention after Orthodontic Treatment:
The orthodontic retention phase is aimed at minimizing unwanted dental movements and maintaining the corrections obtained during the initial period following the removal of the braces or other appliances used for correction.
The most critical period is the first few months and year following the end of treatment. It is often required to stabilize or retain the teeth for a much longer period (many years).
Retention phase involves placement of fixed or removable retainers in the mouth so that, teeth will be held in their newly achieved positions. Fixed retainers are comfortable for the patients because it is not dependent on the patient to wear them.
However, if you are concerned about having a fixed retainer in your mouth, you could always choose other removable options which you will need to wear in your mouth for sometime.
Removable Retainers are custom-made devices, usually made of wires or clear plastic, that hold teeth in position after orthodontic treatment. They are most often used after dental braces to keep teeth in position while assisting the adjustment of the surrounding gums to changes in the bone. Most patients are required to wear their retainer(s) for as long as possible in the mouth for at least a year or two.
It is important that you follow closely the instructions given to you concerning the wearing of the retainers during the retention period. Any negligence in that respect may cause undesirable changes. This alone should be a good enough reason to justify wearing retainers faithfully.
As a rule of thumb, removable retainer wear is progressively reduced over a period of 18 to 30 months but fixed retainers can stay in the mouth for many years.
If, during the retention period, you notice significant dental movements or changes, come to us immediately.