Here at Cater Galante Orthodontics, one of the best parts of our job is when we take our patients' braces off. The smiles on their faces as they see their newly straightened teeth, appliance-free, for the first time is incredible and really makes our job worthwhile.
But this isn't the end of treatment. In fact, our patients are just about to embark on what is, quite possibly, the most important phase of treatment.
What is retention?
Retention is the final phase in your orthodontic treatment journey. Once your braces have been removed, you'll enter the retention phase. This is when we ensure your newly straightened teeth stay in their new position and don't slip back to their old ways.
What are retainers?
Retainers are the appliance used during the retention phase. They work to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums and muscles adapt. There are two different types of retainers:
Removable retainers - these look like sports mouth guards or Invisalign aligners and can be removed if required.
Fixed retainers - these are small wires, a bit like thin archwires, which are fitted to the back surface of your teeth to hold them in position. These can only be removed by an orthodontist.
You must wear your retainer as instructed, otherwise your teeth may move toward their original positions and the benefit of wearing your braces will be lost.