Correctly aligned teeth aid at minimizing the excessive demands applied to bones, roots, periodontal tissues and temporomandibular joints.
The contention appliance is a fixed or mobile device which is worn after removing the fixed orthodontic one, in order to maintain the correct teeth’s position at the end of the treatment. Wearing the contention braces is the only solution which ensures the maintenance of the teeth’s position obtained as a result of the orthodontic treatment. It is essential for the appliance to be continually worn during the first 3-4 months, and after this period only during the night for 1-2 years, according to the severity of the initial abnormality and to the patient’s age. Suppressing the contention occurs gradually: firstly the number of hours to wear it decreases, and then the number of days per week decreases also, until it is given up permanently.
If the patient does not wear the contention rigorously since the moment when it is applied, the teeth can return to their initial position, from before the orthodontic treatment.
Types of retainers
Essix retainer (contention mouth guard)
It is made of clear plastic. Moreover, it possesses the advantages of being easy to wear, of having reduced volume and being fairly unnoticeable. Also, it can support fluoride gels.
Wearing it occurs precisely the way the dentist directs. Basically after the first six months since the fixed appliance is removed, the retainers is worn nonstop, only taken out to eat and clean it; should be put on only a few hours during the day and all night long. Giving it up happens gradually.
How to take care of the retainer?
- When not being worn, keep it in the original box;
- Clean with a toothbrush, soap or toothpaste and rinse with plenty of water;
- Do not squeeze between the fingers and do not bend because it is fragile and can break;
- Do not east with it in the mouth;
- Always brush teeth before applying it;
- Consider the instruction for putting it on and taking it off (with both hands), otherwise it breaks easily.
Permanent bonded retainer
In is employed in situations when a long term contention is necessary. Most frequently, it is utilized to maintain the position of the lower incisors until the growth processes of the mandible have ended. The most commonly used is the twisted steel wire or fixed fiber glass with composite cement.
It is stuck to the interior side of the teeth and it is not visible; also it is very comfortable and it doesn’t influence speech or mastication. It cannot be removed by the patient.
It has to be periodically controlled because it can detach from some teeth without the patient noticing. As long as the contention is intact, it is better to leave it in position.
Special attention has to be given to interdental cleaning and flossing.
It is the most frequently used retainer, especially for the maxillary.
It consists of two elastic mouth guards, united at teeth level. It can be worn during the first 2-3 weeks and allows slight corrects concerning the teeth.