When the active stage of orthodontic treatment is completed, the retention stage will start. This is a very important stage, and that the outcomes achieved are maintained throughout the patient’s life will depend on it.
In order to prevent teeth from returning to their previous position before the initiation of the orthodontic treatment, you must use specific devices to prevent this from happening. The retention devices we use at Ortom Orthodontics are much more comfortable than fixed devices. Let us explain to you how we will conduct this stage in our clinic.
Upper Teeth Retention
There are different ways to “retain” upper teeth; the choice between one type of retention and another will depend on the initial situation of teeth, patient’s age, or gum conditions. You must know this is not an arbitrary decision, and that we will consider all these factors in depth before deciding.
Upper Retention with Plate
The plate is one of the methods for upper teeth retention. A plate is a removable device, it features hooks for back teeth and a wire in the front area. You must wear it 24 hours per day during three months, except for eating, when you will keep it in the box that we will provide.
After 3 months, you can wear it only for sleeping, but it is very important that you continue using it. If you lose it or it gets deteriorated, please ask for an appointment and we will make a new one for you.
Use a toothbrush and soap and water to wash it; don’t use toothpaste, the retainer is made of plastic and metal. Periodically, if you see this is necessary, you can wash it with special tablets for this type of device that you will find in the pharmacy.
Upper Retention with Fixed Wire and Invisible Retainer
The other retention method for upper teeth is through a fixed wire affixed to teeth from behind, to which we will add an invisible retainer as back-up. The invisible retainer is a cover made of plastic material and adapted to your teeth.
In this case, you must only wear the invisible retainer at night. If while biting on something hard, you notice that the wire has become detached from any tooth, then you should use the invisible retainer 24 hours per day, except for meal times, and call the clinic as soon as possible to ask for an appointment where it will be affixed again.
You should also use the invisible retainer 24 hours per day in case that you notice that it has suddenly become hard or feels tighter than some days ago; in this case, you should ask for an appointment for a control visit.
This device is washed with soap and water; and if necessary, specific cleaning tablets for devices can be used.
Lower Teeth Retention
In the lower dental arch, the most usual method is using a wire affixed from behind, from canine tooth to canine tooth. This method of retention is also invisible. While wearing the retainer, you must be careful if you are going to bite into very hard food with your incisors, and confirm periodically if it is still well affixed to all teeth. If it gets detached, you should ask for an appointment as soon as possible, so that we will cement it again. You must also increase your hygiene behind lower incisors, to prevent the development of plaque.