Retention for Life: The Importance of Retainers

Did you know that aside from our wisdom teeth, we have 28 teeth in our mouth? It’s true. And assuredly explains why the biomechanics of moving each and every one of these teeth harmoniously is a complicated and formidable task. This is where the expertise of Dr. Sharma enters the picture. His focus with every Aura Orthodontics patient is to help achieve beautiful healthy teeth. To achieve this he guides and carefully positions both the crowns and roots of each tooth in a straight and stable position.

This is done in terms of three dimensions of space within the facial skeletal area. It allows for the hills and valleys (cusps and grooves) of the teeth to align with one another well, and the muscles and soft tissue to become relaxed and sit in a comfortable position. In addition to this, the upper and lower teeth in the upper and lower jaws have to fit together so the forces of the bite is evenly distributed throughout all of the teeth. Now after reading the true mechanics of how Dr. Sharma achieves amazing results, it’s important to understand that this is a collaborative effort with Aura Orthodontics patients. Before committing to orthodontic treatment, it is important to understand that patients are cognizant that they are committing to a lifetime of retention of the dazzling – final result.

As we age, the position or our lips, cheeks, tongue and soft tissues changes. The soft tissues determine the position of our teeth, which therefore also changes with time. Our teeth have a tendency to move back to their old crooked position because of the fibres in our gums. Once orthodontic treatment is complete, the retention phase of treatment is perhaps even more important than the treatment itself. Retention occurs with the diligent daily use of retainers by patients and eliminates the chance of teeth relapsing or perhaps moving into an even more crooked position. There are two types of orthodontic retainer; a removable retainer, which is an almost invisible removable appliance mainly, made of plastic; and a fixed retainer, which is a small wire bonded out of sight behind the front teeth. Retainers are used to hold the teeth in their new positions after the braces come off; the gums and bones, as well as the muscles of the lips and cheeks, need a period of time to adapt to the new tooth positions. Here are some helpful tips about Retainers:

  • Wear your retainers as directed – except during sports or while you eat.
  • You may salivate more when you first get them and your mouth might be sore. This will subside and your speech will return to normal after a few days of wearing your retainers.
  • Keep your retainers clean. It’s very important to remove the plaque and bacteria that causes hardened white calculus to build up over time.
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush on the tissue side of the retainer to loosen the invisible bacteria and plaque and rinse thoroughly with cool or warm water. If you use toothpaste find a non-abrasive product.
  • Occasionally soaking them in denture cleaner is a good idea.
  • Rinse your mouth and retainer with water if you can’t brush after meals.
  • Avoid hot water, sunlight, and soaking them in mouth wash. The plastic may break down or warp.
  • Be careful not to “click” them in and out with your tongue. This will weaken the wires and may cause them to break.
  • Call Aura Orthodontics if you lose, break or have concerns about the fit.

Some of the patients treated at Aura Orthodontics have already had at least one round of previous braces. Because they either weren’t given a retainer, didn’t wear their retainers or it was broke or lost, their teeth shifted and they now need re-treatment. We at Aura Orthodontics are committed to ensuring that the treatment we provide patients is the last course of braces, by giving you the best possible retainers, either fixed or removable. If you have questions, contact Aura Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation. Dr. Sharma and the team at Aura Orthodontics are committed professionals who look forward to meeting with you, listening to your concerns and discussing a variety of orthodontic options with you.

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