How do I keep my teeth straight?
Did you know that teeth have an elastic memory?
This means that once teeth have been moved, they have a tendency to want to move back to where they used to be positioned.
This is why your orthodontist stresses the importance of wearing a retainer once you have finished with braces and your teeth are beautifully straight!
It is important to understand that orthodontics requires lifelong maintenance. This is in the form of ‘retainers’. They are usually worn full time for a prescribed amount of time and then just at night time indefinitely. There a few different options for retainers and your orthodontist or dentist will advise which one is best suited to you.
- Essix retainers are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and are removable. They are similar to Invisalign or other clear aligners, but made of a more durable material.
- Hawley retainers, which are also removable, are made of a combination of acrylic and metal wires. These tend to be more durable than Essix retainers albeit not as aesthetic.
- Fixed wires are what the name suggests, wires that are fixed to the back of either or both the bottom and top front teeth. They are great for keeping your front teeth aligned without the stress of accidentally forgetting to put your retainers in. You will most likely have removable retainers as well, which will keep your back teeth and bite aligned. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene around the wires to prevent gum issues.
So if you want to keep them in line, be sure to wear your retainer!
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