Now that you have had your braces removed, you may think that treatment is complete, but this is only the end of your ‘active’ stage of treatment. Being brace-free means you have entered the ‘retention’ stage, which is also known as the ‘maintenance’ stage. While we do not see you as often during this period, this is still a vital state requiring your co-operation.
At the appointment when we take your braces off, we will fit you for two different types of retainers. One set will be in the form of upper and lower fixed wires, positioned behind your front teeth, while the other is a removal clear plastic retainer that will wrap around the teeth in the upper arch. For the first year the removable retainer must be worn all the time, except for when you are eating, brushing your teeth and drinking hot or coloured drinks. After this initial year, the removable retainer still needs to be worn of an evening and gradually less and less over time as instructed by Jeff. The fixed wires are more permanent.
Both sets of retainers are extremely important to maintain as they ensure the teeth do not move.
Now that your braces are off, we want to make sure those straight teeth stay in position especially after investing all that time, money and effort. If removable retainers are not worn correctly and/ or fixed wires are left broken, relapse will occur. This means the teeth begin to move back towards their original crooked position, undoing much of the hard work you have gone through.
With the constant and appropriate use of retainers you will be able to enjoy your gorgeous brace-free smile for life!