If you've ever had orthodontic treatment (braces or Invisalign) you probably remember your dentist urging you to wear retainers. Once your teeth have been straight for a few months or even years, you probably start to feel like the retainers aren't too important any more. Right? Wrong!! Retainers are crucial in the long term (your whole life) if you want your teeth to remain in their ideal position.
Once your teeth have been straightened, they are at the most risk of relapsing in the first 2 years. So retainers are super duper important at this time. After the 2 year mark, when your teeth have been in a good place for a while, the risk of relapse reduces, but does not go away altogether. If you have fixed retainers (the glued in ones), you don't have to do anything. Just leave the wire in and it does its job. However, if you have removable retainers, you must continue wearing them to bed at night, at least a couple of times per week if you want your teeth to remain straight.
This usually begs the question, why not just make all retainers fixed? Why worry about removable retainers at all? This is an excellent question, and the answer is simple. Sometimes you can! If you're a good candidate for fixed retainers, most dentists are happy to glue them in, providing you with insurance against relapse in the long term. However, in some cases, the bite (occlusion) is such that while fixed retainers can be used on the lower teeth, they can't fit on the top teeth. This is a frustrating, but workable problem. Here at North Brisbane Dental Clinic, your retainers (whatever type they are) are included in the cost of your orthodontic treatment. What's more, if your retainer breaks, comes loose or wears thin, we will replace it free of charge. There is no time limit on this, so please, if you're having problems with your retainers, tell your dentist. Don't end up like Dr Georgia, having to go through orthodontic treatment again!