Maintain Your Newly Straightened Smile
After orthodontic treatment, patients need to invest in a method for maintaining their newly straightened smiles. At Kuhlberg Orthodontics in Avon, CT, we provide custom appliances to preserve your results. To provide quick, convenient care, Dr. Andrew Kuhlberg has invested in a 3-D intra-oral scanner that eliminates dental impressions for creating many appliances and retainers. We also offer custom retainers for patients who have undergone Invisalign® or other types of orthodontics.
Why Do I Need a Retainer?
Straightening smiles is a long and complicated process. Even once the bulk of orthodontic treatment is over, your teeth can still potentially shift back to their original positions. Because your teeth are held in place by bone and ligaments, it can take months or even years for your body to learn the new position of your smile. Until the surrounding tissues adjust to the change, a retainer or custom appliance helps keep your teeth aligned. Without a retainer, your teeth are at risk of moving and may need re-treatment.
Patients typically choose between two types of retainers after orthodontic treatment:
Held in place with nooks, removable retainers consist of a wire laid across the front of the lower or upper teeth. Because this device is removable, it requires a high degree of patient compliance. You must remember to wear it as instructed and only remove it to eat or clean your teeth until otherwise directed. Furthermore, it is also very easy to lose or damage a removable retainer.
In the first few months after treatment, Dr. Kuhlberg will likely instruct you to wear your removable appliance all day and night. If your teeth have not moved after three months, he may recommend scaling back on the amount of time you wear it to a few hours a day or overnight.
Like its removable counterpart, a fixed retainer typically consists of a thin wire worn across the back of the upper or lower teeth. Unlike a removable retainer, however, it is held in place with cement.
Because fixed appliances remove the need for patient compliance, it is often more effective than a removable option as it maintains the position of your teeth 24 hours a day. However, it can make oral health maintenance more difficult. You may need to purchase a floss threader or other cleaning device to access the spaces between the teeth attached to the wire.
Tips for Maintaining Your Retainer
Maintaining a consistent oral health routine is important for all patients, especially those with dental appliances. Depending on the type of retainer you receive, you may need to alter your routine to more effectively care for the device. We also recommend periodic visits to our office to monitor the movement of your teeth and ensure your retainers are doing their job.
A retainer can maintain your results and ensure your newly straightened smile lasts for years to come.
For fixed retainers, you should spend more time brushing the back of your teeth to ensure plaque does not stick to the wire. For removable retainers, you should brush the appliance at least once a day. We may also recommend using a denture cleaning product to remove additional bacteria from the device.
Invest in Your Results
After all the time and money you spent on orthodontic treatment, a retainer can maintain your results and ensure your newly straightened smile lasts for years to come. To learn more about our custom retainers and dental appliances, contact our office online or call (860) 673-5081 today to speak with a member of our staff.
“Very friendly warm and compassionate. They educated my son on how to care for his braces, what foods to avoid, how to clean and most of all, they are there even during any emergency including weekends. I highly recommend this Orthodontic practice to anyone who want a personal, friendly one on one relationship with their doctor.” Thu M.