Why are retainers needed after braces?


Orthodontic treatment equates many  dental visits over an extended period of time. That monthly trip to the orthodontist becomes part of a regular routine. However, the one appointment that most of us have looked forward to is the one when the braces will be removed. However, that seemingly unreachable date is not the end of the treatment. There is still the very important matter of a retainer. Braces straighten your teeth, and once those wires and brackets have been taken off, it’s important to know how to keep your smile straight. A retainer gets the job done.

A retainer is a small, customized device that is worn after braces are removed in order to reinforce the new position of your teeth. After all the time and money that have been put into braces, letting a beautiful straight smile return to its unaligned form would be a huge waste.

After some time, it may be decided that you only need to wear your retainer at night. Your orthodontist, however, is unlikely to ever recommend that you stop wearing your retainer permanently. Wearing a retainer is a continued investment in your new smile. Failure to wear your retainer consistently means that tissues surrounding your teeth will be unsupported and noticeable shifting may take place.

In short, a retainer allows you to maintain and keep that beautiful smile you worked so hard to achieve.

If you misplace the retainers or don’t wear them as intructed by your orthodontist, teeth willl shift back into their misaligned positions. The next time you try to put the retainer on, it may not fit due to the movement of the teeth. At best, you may have to be fitted for a new set of retainers, but there is also a possibility that you may need to start orthodontic treatment one again.

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