Retention after treatment
Teeth should be retained or held in their new position for a period after braces are removed, for 2 reasons:
- They have a tendency to move back towards their original position for about a year afterwards.
- Teeth continue to move slightly throughout life – even in people who have never had orthodontic treatment. This movement can sometimes be very significant during their late teens while the face, jaws and wisdom teeth finish growing. Any movement in adulthood is usually minor and not visible on smiling.
At Wexford Orthodontics we like to retain our results in childhood and adolescence until growth is complete at the age of 18 or 20. All adults need retention for at least a year but some choose to continue this long term rather than risk any slight movement afterwards.
In keeping with our “practice philosophy” we use bonded retainers where possible as these are much more comfortable and convenient than traditional retainers.
Bonded retainers are miniature wires which are permanently bonded to the inside of the teeth where they can’t be seen. They can be left in place for years and like a filling on a back tooth, you will completely forget that you even have them.