After months, maybe years, of suffering mouth sores and stuck food in their braces, most patients think it is time to celebrate. They are finally getting their braces off. However, they should know that it is not over yet. They still have to wear retainers. You know that, but your patient may not understand its importance.
You need to tell them that they have to wear them at least more than twice as long as they had to wear braces. Make a point of telling them they have to wear them around the clock for at least a year. Offer an invisible retainer you can get from providers such as Orthodenco Orthodontic Lab to make it less noticeable.
Below are two ways to explain why.
The reason patients need braces in the first place is to move their teeth to make them nice and straight. You can do this because ligaments and pliable bone hold their teeth in place. The braces help to move them by exerting a small amount of force on the teeth.
However, for a long time after you take off the braces, your patient’s teeth will continue to move. The bad news is they will move away from where you want them. Retainers keep your patient’s teeth in place until the ligaments and bone settle down.
Teeth will shift as they get older. They would move forward and inward even if your patient wore your retainers for as long as you told them. The movement is very slow, so your patient may not even notice it. However, they will over time.
They should wear retainers for as long as they can at least some of the time to keep their teeth straight. If they wore wire retainers before, you could offer them invisible ones to wear afterwards. They do not last as long as wire retainers, but they are less noticeable.
Your patient may resist wearing an invisible retainer after going through years of braces. However, you need to explain that not wearing them can undo any improvement you have made to their teeth. Make sure they understand that to keep their nice, straight teeth, they have to wear their retainers.