What You Need to Know About Retainers

Wearing a dental retainer is a big part of patient compliance after braces treatment Vista. It’s a mistake to think dentistry and orthodontics don’t have a crucial role to play in our lives.

Oral health connects directly to your breath and appearance but also your chewing and speaking abilities. Dental health is so important that the pain travels up to your ears and head when you have cavities. A severe gum infection can contaminate your bloodstream, lungs, and heart.

Not to be dramatic, but all those are possible outcomes when you lack oral and dental health. To cheer you up a little, we have to say things have to be very bad to get to that point, and we are sure you don’t want any of it. So, how to ensure a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth?

Visiting your dentist for an annual or semestral examination, brushing and flossing your teeth, and wearing your retainer when you must.

Crooked and crowded teeth difficult the process of cleaning your mouth difficult since they create tiny hideouts for oral bacteria. Did you ever think straight teeth are easier to clean? They are! Straight smiles help prevent plaque accumulation and tooth loss thanks to easier oral hygiene.

Severe malocclusions like overbites and underbites can lead to dentofacial structure deformation. Even if you are just finishing your orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners, you still need to know this for future patient compliance.

In your late teens to early twenties, you may experience a slight shifting of your teeth. This is known as “relapse” and refers to the natural tendency of teeth to drift back toward their original positions once braces are removed. Retainers are the key to preventing this relapse! They hold your teeth in their new positions and stop this drifting in its tracks. 

Your teeth aren’t the only things we want to stay put in their new position once treatment is complete! Teeth are not just fixtures in the jaw – each one is held in place in the socket by elastic ligaments that connect the roots to the bone. These ligaments are living tissues that are affected by the movement of the teeth, and it is this attachment that allows for the small movements of the teeth during the orthodontic process.

During treatment, braces place tension on and around the teeth, facilitating the formation of new ligaments and sometimes even bone. The first phase of treatment is the remodeling phase, and once that is complete, the new tissues, ligaments, and bone will need time to stabilize. Without a retainer holding the new positions in place during stabilization, the teeth will almost always migrate back to their old positions. If you don’t wear your retainer as directed by Dr. Albaugh after your braces come off, you may find your teeth shifting back to their old positions, undoing all the hard work you’ve put into your orthodontic treatment.  

However, at The Smile Patio, we’ll give you everything you need to avoid relapse! Keeping your teeth in place is as simple as wearing your retainer, as directed by Dr. Albaugh. The type of retainer you’re given will be determined by the specifics of your case, your preferences, your lifestyle, and your expected compliance.

Why Do You Have to Wear a Retainer After Braces?

Why Do You Have to Wear a Retainer After Braces?

Vista Orthodontic treatments such as teeth alignment are possible because teeth can move. A tooth can move due to the exertion of pressure on it, due to tooth grinding, and just because.

Wearing retainers after you finish treatment is crucial because the teeth might move back to their previous position, making you lose all the effort you put into treatment for years.

Some patients need aligners again after fifteen years because their teeth moved. Although there are estimates, how long a patient will need to wear braces is for the orthodontist to say.

Why Do Teeth Relapse and Move Back to Their Original Position?

As we were saying: teeth move. Sometimes due to a lack of patient compliance, sometimes due to chewing, growth, and everyday use.

The cause is not relevant after your teeth relapse. Orthodontists call it relapse when your teeth move back to their past position.

Studies show that your teeth will be trying to move back for at least six months after you take off your braces or Invisalign trays.

The doctor will indicate the period of time they consider prudent for your smile to be safe.

How Long Does a Patient Have to Wear Retainers After Braces?

The amount of time you will need to wear a retainer varies.

Most cases require an orthodontic retainer from four months to a year after the treatment plan finishes. During this period, in the beginning, you will have to wear your retainers all the time, except only to eat and brush.

Your orthodontist will first check your teeth the next month after you take your braces or aligners off, then three months after that, then six months, and a year after that. If you wear your retainers as you were told, you might not need them anymore.

Depending on your teeth, your orthodontist will indicate to use of retainers only at night for a specific period or indefinitely.

What Types of Retainer Exist?

What Types of Retainer Exist?

Nowadays, patients count on many options to keep their teeth aligned. The traditional Hawley retainers or wire retainers, lingual retainers, and clear plastic retainers. All of them are effective and safe when patients use them correctly.

The principal categories for orthodontic retainers are fixed and removable. Fixed retainers are great because you don’t have to worry about wearing them enough or losing them since you can’t take them off.

The con of permanent retainers is that they could help the growth of dental plaque if you don’t follow a good oral hygiene routine and schedule professional cleanings annually.

You don’t have this issue with removable retainers since you can take them off to brush and floss. The con of removable retainers is that it is so easy to lose them or forget about wearing them correctly. You need discipline with them.

Ask Your Orthodontist About a Dental Retainer

Ask Dr. Albaugh for the best type of retainer for you.

  • Clear plastic retainers are safe, effective, and discreet.
  • Metal retainers are highly effective.
  • Traditional Hawley retainers are effective and affordable.

Contact Our Vista Orthodontics Office For Free Consultation

The Smile Patio Orthodontist has everything your teeth need, from Invisalign treatment to emergency orthodontics in Vista. What would you need that for? Orthodontics emergencies in Vista help if you lose your retainers or break a bracket.

Schedule an appointment today.