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How to keep your teeth straight after orthodontic treatment

Neglecting to retain your straight smile following orthodontic treatment can mean wasted time and money

Orthodontic treatments, like conventional braces, clear aligners, plates and lingual braces, can take a tremendous amount of patience and commitment in order to achieve the initial goal.

Once treatment is complete, many people forget about the most important stage of their orthodontic treatment – the retention phase. Unfortunately, as you get older, your teeth continue to move and shift. Because of this, it’s incredibly important that you follow a few simple tips to ensure your teeth have the best chance at remaining nice and straight.

Don’t Get Lazy, Wear Your Retainer

Once you have completed your orthodontic treatment, it is common for your orthodontist to issue you with a clear, removable retainer. During the first three months following the completion of your treatment, these retainers should be worn at all hours of the day and night, except when eating and drinking. After this, once you have visited your orthodontist and there has been no movement of the teeth, you will only need to wear your retainer overnight.

Your initial orthodontic treatment takes time to gradually shift your teeth into the ideal position, whilst your retainer keeps the teeth in this position for the long term.

It is very important that you keep your retainer clean at all times. To clean your retainer, run it under lukewarm water straight after you take it out of your mouth. This will ensure that any debris left on the retainer doesn’t harden and dry. Use a brush to lightly remove excess debris and make sure you avoid using toothpaste as this can scratch the surface of the retainer. Keeping your retainer clean will help to reduce the chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay.

Make Regular Dental Appointments

Your bottom teeth are more susceptible to crowding as you get older, so your orthodontist may choose to apply a fixed retainer to your bottom teeth. Keeping this fixed retainer on indefinitely is always encouraged, with regular maintenance. If this fixed retainer begins to feel uncomfortable, after two years you may have it removed and replaced with a clear removable option.

Because it can be hard to clean between the teeth with a fixed retainer, it is common for plaque and tartar to build up in this area. For this reason, it is important that you book a regular check-up and clean every six months.

Keep an Eye Out for Shifting Teeth

Even if you wear your retainer everyday, it is not impossible for teeth to shift. If you notice any sort of movement or shifting teeth, you should report it to your orthodontist as soon as possible.

Don’t leave it too long, as this can cause you to need further orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontics at South East Orthodontics, Melbourne

At South East Orthodontics, we are committed to providing our patients with the very best orthodontic treatments, paired with personalised service and care.

Our team are constantly training and furthering our knowledge in order to provide patients with the latest orthodontic developments and techniques. If you’re looking for orthodontic treatments in Berwick, Victoria, contact the team at South East Orthodontics today!