What can I do to keep my straight teeth?
Once you are out of braces and have your beautiful straight teeth, you will be fitted with retainers to wear. At first, you may be asked to wear them all the time. You should remove the retainers to eat and brush your teeth. After a short time you will be instructed to wear the retainers at night only. Although movement may be slight, your teeth will not stay perfectly straight if you do not wear your retainers as instructed.
How long will I wear retainers?
You should wear your retainers indefinitely. Although most individuals can maintain straight teeth by wearing the retainers at night, it will be your responsibility to wear retainers as much as needed to keep the straight teeth from shifting.
What can cause the teeth to shift after braces?
As a general rule, teeth naturally shift throughout life. Very few people have naturally straight teeth. Various forces act throughout life to cause the teeth to change their positions including wear from chewing, new fillings and crowns of different sizes (compared to one's natural teeth), and changes in the bones and muscles of the face with age. Although the shifting will probably be slight and very gradual, if it involves the front teeth, you may not be happy with the appearance.
What should I do if my retainers become lost or do not fit?
You should call the office immediately, before your straight teeth shift. If the retainer is bent or broken, a new retainer can be made while the teeth are straight. There will be a charge for this service. If you wait, your beautiful straight teeth will become crooked and a retainer will not straighten teeth.
What can be done if my teeth shift or I get crooked teeth again?
You should call the office at your earliest convenience. The dentist will want to meet with you to decide what can be done to get your teeth straight again. Sometimes, we can regain your straight teeth with a special removable appliance and sometimes we must use braces for a short time to ensure straight teeth. If braces are necessary, there will be no charge to refit braces on your teeth; however you will be charged a monthly fee to adjust the braces for the period of time necessary to restraighten teeth. You will also be responsible for the cost of new retainers needed after the braces.