A long-term stable result after orthodontic treatment (or other treatment) is possible only with collaboration between the doctor and the patient, and by wearing retention appliances.
Stable result. Preventive appliances
Preventive appliances are orthodontic devices used when milk teeth are lost prematurely. Many different types of preventive appliances are used, but the most common are those of loop type construction.
Preventive appliances include:
- Tongue band;
- Palatal band; and,
- Lip bumper.
When is a preventive orthodontic appliance needed?
You should consult with your orthodontist if a preventive space maintaining appliance is needed. The doctor will evaluate the following:
- Existing space in the teeth band;
- Time that passed since milk teeth removal; and,
Is a preventive appliance needed?
Significant change in the teeth band can occur within 6 months. A preventive space maintaining appliance, if needed, must be put in right after removal of a milk tooth. If it has been more than 6 months since tooth removal, a preventive appliance is not needed for adjacent teeth. If the space closes up, a space regaining appliance is needed before permanent teeth come out.
Is a preventive appliance painful?
Usually, a preventive appliance doesn‘t cause any discomfort.
What to do if appliance gets broken?
Contact your doctor immediately.
Maintaining / retention appliances
A stable result after orthodontic treatment also depends on appliances that maintain/keep your teeth straight. The appliances can be removable and non-removable.
If you fail to keep the appliance on as directed by the doctor, the teeth will move to their original position. To correct them, orthodontic treatment might have to be repeated.
Types of retention appliances
- To retain the upper jaw teeth, removable appliances or Essex (clear) aligners have been the most commonly used type as of late;
- For the front teeth (from the tongue side), a non-removable band can be glued on the lower and upper jaw.
How long do retention appliances need to be on?
The average wear time is 2 to 3 years during night time. In each individual case, wear time is indicated by the orthodontist. Termination of wear is also indicated by the orthodontis. Do not terminate wear independently. Deformations in the teeth band can appear gradually and insensibly; and to correct them, repeated orthodontic treatment might be needed.
How to take care of the appliance?
Clean the appliance with a brush. Keep it dry in its box. Once a month, disinfect it with a special solution that can be found at chemistries.
The attachment band is cleaned with a special hygiene floss.
Forgot to put the appliance on for a night?
The next day, keep the appliance on for 6 hours. Later, continue to wear it as recommended by the doctor.