For those undergoing orthodontic treatment getting your braces removed is a big deal. While ending the active phase of orthodontic treatment is truly something to celebrate, many people don’t realize that orthodontic patients move into what is called the retention phase of their treatment once they’re finished wearing braces.
During the retention phase of treatment, the patient wears a custom-made retainer that is typically made of a combination of plastic material and wire. The patient is given specific instructions regarding how to wear the retainer and this can vary between patients. For example, while one patient may be told to wear their retainer only at night from the start, another patient might be told to wear it all day for several months and then only at night after that period.
How a Retainer Works
Patient compliance is a must when it comes to wearing orthodontic retainers. A retainer fits snugly over your teeth and prevents them from shifting back into their original positions. Not only does a retainer keep the teeth in their new positions, but it also helps the gum tissue and bone adjust to the new positions the teeth are in. A retainer helps stabilize the newly aligned bite. Since teeth are held in place by ligaments, which are elastic in nature, a retainer prevents these ligaments from stretching and the teeth from moving out of their new positions.
Make Your Smile Last
Unfortunately, many patients who’ve spent months or even longer wearing braces have neglected to wear their retainers as directed. Many of these people end up having to start orthodontic treatment all over again . It is important for all orthodontic patients to realize how vitally important it is to wear their retainers so they can enjoy their beautiful, straight & healthy smiles for the rest of their lives!