Last week I went in to see my orthodontist for a post-treatment debrief. I had to ask for this; he forgot to do at the last meeting.
It was a chance for me to see my “after” photos. My doctor on took a few minutes to talk about this, but I usually stick it out for a few more questions. Remember YOU ARE YOUR BEST ADVOCATE. You have a right to get your questions answered.
So, we could see from the photos that my cross bite had been fixed. And that where my teeth had sort of caved in — from my first braces treatment, and my teeth moving — now they are out and aligned.
Here’s what I learned about the post-treatment, retainer period:
- How much I should wear my retainers: I should wear them enough so that when I put the retainers back in after not wearing them, they are not tight. I’ve been trying to be aware of this and pay attention to how much time passes; not too successful yet. But this information was definitely more helpful than “wear them all the time”, which hasn’t been happening for me.
- How the teeth settle after a while. I complained that my bite felt weird; the molars don’t seem like they fit. So when I have the retainers on, everything feels fine. But when I take them off, it seems like the teeth are too far apart. Apparently over time — and after this period during which I’m supposed to wear the braces all the time–the teeth will eventually settle in and fit each other.
Oh, also, when I arrived I asked one of the technicians if she could sonic clean the retainers. “No problem”, she said. When I left after about 15 minutes, they were done and looked great! They use the machine they use to clean their instruments. I don’t know if all ortho offices will offer this, but can’t hurt to ask.