It is a common misconception that the moment the braces are removed ends the treatment. However, in reality, it only marks the end of the so-called active phase. Then begins retention treatment, which aims to consolidate the effects achieved by wearing braces.
Importance of retention treatment
Braces are worn to change the position of the teeth. However, such interference is an unnatural action, with the result that, after removing the braces, the teeth may try to return to the position they were in is achieved before treatment begins. The retention phase is therefore necessary in order to maintain the effect achieved and to avoid recurrence of the disorder. Retention braces are therefore designed to make the teeth stay in their new, correct position.
Need for retention treatment
Any good orthodontist will confirm that retention treatment is necessary for several fundamental reasons. First of all, the periodontal tissues require time to reorganise and adapt to the new position of the teeth. In addition, the teeth, after treatment with braces, are in a completely new position. Thus, they are still unstable and therefore easily succumb to the force of the cheek, lip and tongue muscles.
Length of retention treatment
The period of retention treatment is usually the same amount of time as it took to move the teeth. However, treatment is best continued throughout the patient's growth period. The issue of wisdom teeth is also important. This is because retention treatment should not be discontinued until the wisdom teeth have erupted or the wisdom teeth have been extracted. On the other hand, retention treatment does not require frequent visits to the orthodontist - in most cases, once a quarter is sufficient.
It should be noted that Retention treatment is the final stage of orthodontic treatment. It must be borne in mind that if this stage of treatment is abandoned, partial recurrence of the defect may occur.
Detailed information on retention treatment can be obtained at ODENT - Centre for Orthodontics and Implantology, Warsaw-Żoliborz