Retaining Your Smile With Retainers

You’ve gotten your braces removed, but you’re not out of the woods, yet. In this article, we’ll take a look at why you should wear your retainer, and why you still need to work hard to keep your smile looking better than ever.

What Are The Reasons For Needing Braces?

Braces play a crucial role in correcting various orthodontic issues that can affect both oral health and aesthetics. Teeth misalignment, crowding, gaps, and malocclusions (overbites or underbites) are common reasons why one may need braces. By applying gentle pressure, braces guide the teeth into their ideal positions, resulting in a harmonious and balanced smile.

Why Do You Need To Wear A Retainer After Braces?

Once braces have worked their magic, retainers step in to maintain the corrected alignment. As an orthodontics expert like our friends at John Redmond Orthodontics can explain, your teeth have a natural tendency to shift over time, regardless of whether braces were used. Retainers act as guardians, preventing the teeth from reverting to their original positions and preserving the beautiful smile achieved through braces.

What Is Mesial Drift, And Why Does It Occur?

Mesial drift refers to the slow movement of teeth towards the front of the mouth over time. It’s totally natural, but it can cause some problems for your smile.

Mesial drift can lead to crowding, and understanding its cause is essential. Historically, our ancestors experienced more significant wear and tear on their teeth due to their diets, resulting in larger gaps between teeth. This allowed room for wisdom teeth to emerge without causing crowding. However, with modern dental care and diet, our teeth don’t wear down as much, leading to less space for wisdom teeth, which can contribute to crowding issues.

How Do Braces And Retainers Control Crowding?

Braces are instrumental in addressing dental crowding by carefully shifting teeth into their proper positions. This process can take several months to years, depending on individual needs. By applying gradual pressure against your teeth, your braces can reposition your teeth and walk back the effects of crowding.

Once braces have aligned your teeth, retainers step in to maintain the new positions of your teeth. Retainers ensure that the teeth don’t relapse and move back toward their original alignment, providing long-term stability to the smile.

What Is The Retainer-Wearing Schedule After Braces?

After braces are removed, retainer wear is essential to secure the results achieved. Initially, you may need to wear your retainer continuously for about three months to a year to prevent any relapse. After this initial period, you’ll have to wear your retainer every night.

While it may seem like a lifelong commitment, the benefits of a retainer are substantial: They’ll preserve all the hard work that you’ve already invested in achieving that stunning smile. As time progresses, the retainer wear may be reduced to wearing it every other night or as recommended by your orthodontist.

Orthodontic solutions like braces and retainers can lead to a lifetime of confidence and oral health. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment or have already undergone braces, don’t hesitate to consult an orthodontist today.