The regular adjustment sessions with your son or daughter’s orthodontist at North Texas Smiles’s Fort Worth, Texas clinic have been critical for gradually repositioning his or her teeth. This will give your child an appealing smile, while also helping to prevent problems with enamel attrition and reducing chances of suffering a dental fracture.
Even though the braces can now be removed, it will not be the end of the realignment process. There will still be some residual tension from the adjustment in the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in your mouth. If it isn’t countered in some way, the tension could cause the teeth to relapse out of position.
The most effective way to prevent this from happening is to have our orthodontist fit your child for a custom retainer immediately after your braces have been removed. We offer three different types of retainer. Dr. Justin Warcup will recommend the one that is best for you.
Hawley-style retainers are the most common type of removable retainer. This is a thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic, custom fit to the shape of your mouth. When it’s in your mouth it is secured by a set of wires that lock onto specific teeth.
A clear plastic retainer might only be called for if braces were needed to correct a minor alignment issue. This type of retainer is hard for the casual observer to notice.
If your braces needed to correct a significant alignment problem, we might recommend installing a fixed retainer behind the teeth. This is a sturdy metal band that is cemented in place. Sometimes, a fixed retainer might be needed to hold the bottom front teeth, while using a removable Hawley retainer on the upper teeth.
The total duration of the retention period will vary depending on the progress shown in the periodontal ligaments. As time goes by, Dr. Justin Warcup might change the times your child need to use a retainer. You should expect him or her to need to use a retainer in some form for the same amount of time it took to fully realign his or her teeth.
If your son or daughter is due to have his or her braces removed soon and you have questions about retainers, you can always call 817-732-9341 to speak to an orthodontic specialist at North Texas Smiles’s Fort Worth, Texas clinic.