When you decide to have orthodontic treatment you are making a lifelong commitment to maintaining your smile. The end of the active phase of orthodontic treatment is the first stage of the journey; to be sure you have a smile to be proud of for the rest of your life, please heed the advice of your orthodontist.
It is really important to maintain a good standard of oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatment and particularly important whilst in active treatment. It can be more difficult to brush your teeth when wearing a fixed brace and plaque build up can occur over a period of time which is highly damaging, and if not dealt with effectively, may permanently damage the tooth enamel. Our dental nurses provide all patients with lots of practical advice regarding how to maintain their teeth and special brushes designed to clean around the brace are available from our reception.
Our teeth move throughout our lives and even though successful treatment will have realigned your teeth to their optimum position, without continued care by you, your teeth can revert to their original position, this is known as relapse. Relapse can be kept to a minimum by wearing a retainer allowing teeth to become settled in their new position.
Removable retainers are initially worn every night. The need slowly reduces to only two nights a week and orthodontists recommend this weekly care to guarantee teeth remain aligned. A removable retainer is like a very thin, virtually invisible clear gum shield which is easy to wear. For some patients we may recommend a fixed retainer, a thin wire permanently placed behind the teeth to maintain alignment. Your orthodontist monitors the retention phase for a year but for the patient, this is a lifelong commitment.
Take a look at our patients zone for more advice on oral hygiene and dietary recommendation in The Dental Nurses Guide to your Perfect Smile.