After the braces have straightened out your teeth, it is important to keep them straight. It’s a bit like someone who goes on a diet to lose weight. Once they have lost their weight they still need to maintain a healthier lifestyle and eating habits, otherwise, they will put all that weight right back on again.
Teeth are similar. Once they are straight if we don’t hold them in place, they have a high tendency to move back again. We now know that about 90% of patients who do not wear retainers, long term, will experience a relapse.
It is important to note that a retainer typically does not shift teeth back into place. It simply maintains straight teeth. Routine retainer wear can keep shifting to a minimum.
The longer a patient leaves the retainer out, the more likely it is that their teeth will shift. The tightness some patients feel when putting in a retainer after they have not worn it for several days is evidence that the teeth have shifted slightly. Teeth may become sore once a retainer is worn after several days of nonuse, but wearing it on a regular basis will eliminate the discomfort.
We provide two types of retainers.
(Often known as a ‘kibuah’ in Israel.) There are many types, but essentially it is a thin gold chain glued onto the inside of the four upper front teeth and the six lower front teeth. Dr. Links uses the patented ortho-flextech gold chain for bonded retainers.
The advantage of bonded retainers are that you don’t need to remember to put them in.
The potential disadvantages are that it is most of the time not possible to floss between the teeth which have the bonded retainer stuck to them. Therefore there is an increased risk of decay between the teeth if oral hygiene is not perfect.
REMOVABLE ESSEX RETAINER
This is worn every night for the first year after treatment. After the first year after treatment, it is worn once or twice a week as long as the patient wants to keep their teeth straight. Dr. Links uses a 3D intraoral scanner to produce a highly accurate digital model of the teeth. The models are then printed in our 3D printer and the vacuum formed clear plastic retainers are made. Patients end of treatment teeth digital models are stored on our cloud so if in the future new retainers are required, we can simply open your digital model file and print you a new set.
There is no solid evidence as to which kind of retainer works better. Dr. Links provided BOTH for every patient. That way, if one becomes lost or broken in the future, then there is always a fallback, to ensure that your teeth will stay straight.