Dental Braces (cont.)

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What happens after braces come off?

Once braces come off, more records (molds and X-rays) are taken to evaluate the end result. Additionally, plans for a dental retainer are made to keep the newly-positioned teeth in place. Without a retainer, the teeth can shift. There are usually two types of retainers -- removable or fixed. A removable retainer is made of acrylic and metal wires or a clear rigid plastic tray and can be easily removed for ease of brushing and flossing the teeth. A fixed retainer is usually bonded to the back ("lingual") side of the teeth. The advantages of this type of retainer are that it cannot be lost and it is more effective in retaining teeth position. Typically, retainers need to be worn full-time after braces are removed for a period of time and then, for removable retainers, followed by part-time wear at night indefinitely. For adults completing orthodontic treatment, retainers usually need to be worn for a lifetime. The dentist or orthodontist will recommend how long to wear the retainers as each case is different.


Bailleau, A., et al. "One phase or two-phase orthodontic treatment: comparisons." L'Orthodontie Franchaise 83.4 (2012): 289-296.

Fleming, P. S., et al. "Self-ligating brackets in orthodontics. A systematic review." The Angle Orthodontist 80.3 (2010): 575-584.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/17/2015

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