Wearing braces is a multi-year process for most people, but many are surprised to find out other treatments also are necessary.
Published: October 1, 2018
Wearing braces is a multi-year process for most people, but many are surprised to find out other treatments also are necessary, such as wearing a retainer after the braces come off.
In fact, there are a number of new treatment options out there like Invisalign (clear braces – see below), but the tried and true retainer many of us remember still exists.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (www.aaoinfo.org) both types of retainers hold teeth in their new positions after “active” orthodontic treatment is completed. This allows newly formed bone to harden around the teeth. Wearing retainers as instructed is the key to maintaining the success of orthodontic treatment, the AAO website says. Patients may be advised to wear retainers full-time for the first six months after “active” treatment ends, with subsequent wear time reduced to night-time only. When not in the mouth, removable retainers should be kept in the case provided by the orthodontist.
OCTOBER IS NATIONAL ORTHODONTIC HEALTH MONTH
Local orthodontist Dr. John Phillips of PT Orthodontics fills us in on some of the appliances and options that are available.
Q. What type of “appliances” can a person wearing braces expect to wear?
A. While wearing braces or Invisalign elastics (rubber bands) are often used to help move teeth and correct bites. Once you’ve completed treatment and the braces come off, you’ll be amazed by how great your teeth look and we want to keep it that way!
Your teeth and gums will still allow some movement, and although it will occur much more slowly, this movement can cause your teeth to shift out of alignment. Retainers are used to “hold” your teeth in their current position, preventing them from losing their ideal positioning. Unlike braces, they are not intended to actively push your teeth.
Q. How should patients care for these appliances?
A. Just like braces and Invisalign, retainers need to be cleaned regularly. This is easily done by using a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the plastic body and wires.
Q. Are there extra charges for these appliances? How do they work with traditional braces, if they do?
A. At PT Orthodontics when you get braces or Invisalign, your first set of retainers is included! There are no hidden or extra charges for these when you have your braces removed. Be sure to check with your orthodontist.
Q. Are there any other removable items you’d like to talk about, such as Invisalign?
A. Invisalign is becoming an extremely popular choice for both adults and teens who would like the look of invisible aligners. Invisalign allows you to eat your favorite foods, easily brush and floss, and is removable during sports or while playing a musical instrument. Invisalign is easy to clean, just brush with a regular toothbrush. Invisalign and traditional braces are very similar in price.
Q. Are there no-no’s when using these items? What about sports, dance, cheering and other extracurricular activities?
A. There really aren’t any “no-no’s” regarding extracurricular activities when wearing braces or Invisalign. We do encourage the wearing of a mouth guard during contact sports.