It’s so important to wear retainers after braces. Otherwise, there’s a good chance your teeth will move, undoing months of hard work.
We provide all our patients with removable and/or fixed retainers and give them the advice and follow-up care they need to maintain their new smile. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky.
Retainers haven’t always been such a priority. You may have had treatment in the past and been told you only need to wear your retainers for a year or two – or not at all. Removable retainers are also annoyingly easy to misplace, ending up in the bin – or the mouth of a pet!
Retainers should be worn indefinitely and can last for many years if you look after them properly. If they do break it’s important to get them repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Teeth can move surprisingly quickly when we don’t want them to.
What to do if your teeth move after braces
The reason teeth move after orthodontic treatment is ‘thanks’ to connective tissues, which are stretched during treatment, pulling them back to their original position.
If you catch orthodontic relapse early and your teeth have only moved very slightly, you might be lucky. If you start wearing your retainer again, you may be able to gently nudge your teeth back in line. You’ll probably find that your retainer feels quite tight to begin with (a clear sign that your teeth have moved). If it’s painful, don’t force it and make an appointment to see your orthodontist or dentist.
If your teeth have moved that bit further and you can’t wear – or don’t have your original retainer – you have two options. You can have another retainer made to hold your teeth in their new position. Or, you can wear braces again to restraighten your smile.
Replacing your retainer
If you opt for a new retainer, you should contact the practice that provided your orthodontic treatment. They’ll need to take new impressions to make your custom-made removable retainers. You may also want to talk to them about fixed retainers, which are discreetly fitted behind your teeth (where they can’t be forgotten or misplaced).
Correcting orthodontic relapse
If you’re not happy with the position of your teeth, you’ll need to wear braces again to restore them to their former glory. You’ll be relieved to hear that we can usually correct orthodontic relapse quickly and discreetly.
Invisalign Express uses seven sets of clear, removable aligners to straighten mild crowding or spacing. Each aligner should be worn for at least 20 hours a day – you can take them out to eat, drink and brush your teeth. Every one to two weeks you switch to the next aligner in the series, gently moving your teeth into place.
When your braces come off, we’ll give you retainers (to guard with your life). At Sensu we include removable retainers as standard and the option of a fixed retainer too.
To find out more about Invisalign Express and the other ways we can discreetly straighten orthodontic relapse, book your free consultation.