Dental positioners are sometimes recommended after braces are removed. They work to finalize the tooth placement in a way that brackets and retainers cannot. They also help speed up the process of closing gaps between molars where metal bands were placed to hold archwires and encourage the ideal bite position between the upper and lower teeth.
What is the Process for Getting a Dental Positioner?
After your braces are removed, your orthodontist will take a mold of your newly straightened teeth to build the dental positioner. This is similar to a bottom and top retainer but stuck together. Airways are inserted between the two arches so you can still breathe while wearing the device. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how many hours per day you should wear the device, as well as the expected time frame until final completion.
How Do Dental Positioners Work?
After getting braces off, your teeth will tend to revert to their previous positions without a little help. Many patients go straight towards retainers, but positioners help continue the alignment process before the final retainers.
When biting down on the positioner, like a mouth guard, tooth positioners will use the force of your jaw to move your teeth into their final position. This allows for miniscule movements that can’t be accomplished with braces alone. Once the teeth are in their final position, you will be able to switch to a retainer to maintain the alignment.
Who Should Use a Dental Positioner?
Most orthodontic patients will not need to use dental positioners. However, those with a mild overbite after having braces removed may benefit from using these devices. Especially if you have been using Invisalign clear aligners to straighten your teeth, you may still have a bite misalignment that needs to be corrected. If your orthodontist doesn’t mention positioners, you likely won’t need them, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
How Long is a Dental Positioner Used?
On a daily basis, you will likely be instructed to wear the positioner for about four hours while awake and the entire time you are asleep. Since you won’t be able to talk or eat with the device in your mouth, wearing it 24/7 is not necessary. Each patient is different, but you will likely be told to wear the device for several weeks, or up to a few months. After this time, you’ll switch to regular retainers.
Orthodontists in London Ontario
Contact Foley Wilde Orthodontics to find out more and learn about our various orthodontic treatments.