Orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners is a great way to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. However, teeth are always willing to shift and move, and this is where retainers come in.
Retainers are custom-made for each patient and are worn after orthodontic treatment to keep the teeth in their straight, corrected position.
The secret to maintaining the perfectly straight teeth forever is to wear your retainers for life.
The reason is simple: teeth do not stay in position, but are able to move throughout life. After all, this is the reason orthodontic treatment is possible in the first place. Orthodontic treatment is simply controlled movement of the teeth, utilizing the same process that is already naturally occurring. Without the use of retainers, there is a risk that the teeth will shift over time and will no longer be the perfectly straight smile you worked hard to get. This is especially true in the first few years after treatment, when the bones, ligaments, and muscles are still adjusting to the new position of the teeth.
Consistently wearing retainers can help to prevent this shifting and ensure that the results of the treatment are long-lasting.
There are many different types of retainers available, including removable plastic retainers, fixed (bonded) retainers, and metal wire retainers. Furthermore, some specialized appliances that are used to help manage TMD (temporomandibular disorders), clenching, and grinding of the teeth, such as occlusal guards and splints, can be designed so that they will also function as retainers.
The type of retainer that is recommended for you will depend on your specific case, the type of treatment you received, and considerations for your muscle pain or clenching/grinding habits.
It’s important to note that retainers need to be taken care of well in order to ensure they last as long as possible. If they are lost, loose, or broken, retainers should be checked immediately by an orthodontist – before the teeth have a chance to move!
As a patient at Escott Orthodontics, we will work with you to select the best retainer option for your situation and guide you to success with your retainers. We are committed to our patients enjoying their smile for a lifetime!
If you have already had orthodontic treatment, with Escott Orthodontics or elsewhere, and you are concerned about shifting in your teeth, contact us for a consultation to evaluate your situation. We offer convenient re treatment options to perfect your alignment again, usually without having to place braces again.