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Straight Teeth, End of Treatment?

straight teeth teensTo stop your teeth from moving back to their old places (which may happen), your orthodontist may sometimes give you a fixed retainer that you wear just like braces. But do not be afraid. If it is a fixed retainer, it will be fixed on the tongue side of your teeth, so nobody will see it. How long you need to wear this retainer varies. Your orthodontist can tell you. Just remember how great your teeth will look later.

What care can I expect after the braces come off?
After your braces are taken off, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. Your orthodontist may want to take another set of X-rays and bite impressions to check how well the braces straightened your teeth and to see if any wisdom teeth have developed. If wisdom teeth are beginning to come in after your braces have been removed, your orthodontist may recommend that the wisdom teeth be pulled to prevent your newly straightened teeth from shifting positions in your mouth.

Your orthodontist will also fit you with a retainer. A retainer is a custom-made removable appliance that helps teeth to maintain their new position after braces have been removed. Retainers can also be used to treat minor orthodontic problems. The use of a retainer is a very important part of post-braces care. Retainers, which are typically made of rubber or clear plastic and metal wires that cover the outside surface of the teeth, need to be worn at all times for the first 3 to 6 months and then usually only during sleep. The time frame for wearing a retainer will vary from patient to patient. The reason why a retainer is needed is that even though braces may have successfully straightened your teeth, they are not completely settled in their new positions until the bones, gums, and muscles adapt to the changes. Also, after long periods of time, teeth tend to shift.