A lot of time and effort goes into straightening your smile. But there is a possibility that it might not stay that way - and all that hard work could be lost. The same natural mechanism that enables your teeth to move with braces could cause them to revert to their old, undesirable positions.
So, to ensure this doesn’t happen you will need to wear a retainer which is an appliance designed to keep or retain your teeth where they are now. While the removable type is perhaps the best known, there is at least one other choice you might want to consider, a bonded retainer.
Just as its name suggests, this retainer consists of a thin metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth with a composite material. Unlike the removable retainer, a bonded retainer is fixed and can only be removed by an orthodontist.
Bonded retainers have several advantages. Perhaps the most important one is cosmetic - unlike the removable retainer, others can’t see a bonded retainer since it is hidden behind the teeth. There is also no keeping up with it - or losing it - since it is fixed in place, which might be helpful with some younger patients who need reminding about keeping their retainer in their mouth.
There are, however, a few disadvantages. It is much harder to floss with a bonded retainer, which could increase the risk of dental disease. It is also possible for it to break, in which case it will need to be repaired by an orthodontist and as soon as possible. Without it in place for any length of time the teeth could move out of alignment.
But the positives definitely outweigh the negatives with this retainer option, and we recommend you get this retainer as well as a removable retainer to ensure your teeth stay perfectly in place.
If you or a family member is about to have braces removed, you will soon need to make a decision on which retainer to use. Here at Oldham Orthodontics we will discuss these options with you and help you choose the one that is right for you so make sure to get in touch today.