Dr. Rever understands the joy most patients feel when orthodontic care is complete and braces are removed, revealing a beautiful new smile you have been waiting to see. Straighter teeth have improved the aesthetics of your smile as well as your overall dental health. As your Silver Spring family dentist, we want to help you keep your smile looking and feeling this way for years to come.
The key to maintaining the results of your orthodontic care is the use of a retainer as directed. Wearing your retainer all day, every day is often recommended for up to a year post-treatment. This is to reinforce the new position of your teeth and their supporting structures. Without proper retainer use, you can experience shifting of teeth due to the flexible nature of the ligaments and soft tissue that hold them in place.
After the recommended initial phase of use, most patients will wear a retainer at night. It is often recommended that it be used for the rest of your life to ensure your new tooth position is maintained.
Types Of Retainers
There are several different types of retainers and Dr. Rever will recommend the most appropriate for your needs.
- Hawley retainer: this is the traditional style of retainer consisting of a thin layer of plastic molded to your palate and a wire that goes over the front of the teeth.
- Clear retainer: similar to clear aligners, this retainer is like a mouthguard and fits snugly over the teeth.
- Fixed bonded retainer: for patients at a higher risk for tooth movement after treatment, this type of retainer is permanently fixed to the back of the teeth, removable by Dr. Rever when no longer needed, and replaced with a different style of retainer.
What’s The Difference Between Invisalign And Braces?
Misalignment can have a negative impact on both the health and appearance of your smile. In fact, an uneven smile can increase the risk of oral health issues, such as tooth decay, gingivitis, TMJ disorder, and bruxism (teeth grinding). To address misalignment, you need orthodontic treatment. We actually offer a less visible alternative to braces with Invisalign. How does Invisalign differ from braces?
Treatment begins with the doctor taking detailed impressions of the patient’s smile. These impressions are used to create a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners. Each day, the patient wears aligners for between 20 and 23 hours, upgrading to a new set around once every two weeks. Your smile is corrected over a period of a year to 18 months (depending on the severity of the misalignment. Results may vary). Patients can remove the aligners before eating or when brushing & flossing teeth.
Braces employ metal brackets connected to the front of the teeth and connected with an archwire. Using tension, the teeth are gradually repositioned, typically over a period of 18 months to 2 years. We can use this option to address much more serious malocclusion.
However, the braces cannot be removed and you must avoid foods that could become stuck in your orthodontics, such as hard or chewy foods. You also need to brush and floss carefully and regularly to avoid spots on your teeth once the orthodontics are removed.
Which is Right for Me?
Typically, Invisalign works best for patients over the age of 16 and who have minor alignment issues. We can examine your smile to see which option will best address your misalignment. If you have any questions about Invisalign then please contact our dentist office today.