When your braces are removed, you will need to wear a device called a retainer to hold your teeth in their new position. You will wear your retainer for as long as it takes your teeth to settle into their new position and for your jawbones and muscles to adapt to your new dental arrangement. This is called the retention phase of treatment. Dr. Hendrix may also evaluate your wisdom teeth during this phase of treatment.
Retainers are just as important as braces in the overall treatment plan. There are different types of retainers, and Dr. Hendrix will choose the right one that is perfect for you.
Warning! Pets love to eat retainers! Please take good care of your retainers and wear them as instructed. When not in your mouth, make sure to store them in a safe place.
Why are retainers needed after orthodontic treatment?
Retainers are extremely important after orthodontic treatment. Studies have shown that if retainers are not worn faithfully, teeth have a tendency to return to their original position after orthodontic treatment. This is called relapse. The more severe the original bite, the greater the tendency toward relapse. Periodontal (bone and gum) disease, mouth breathing, and harmful tongue or oral habits can also cause teeth to move.
To prevent relapse, retainers are worn after braces are removed to support and hold the teeth and jaws in their newly corrected position. Retainers provide the stabilization until the bones and gums adapt to treatment changes. If teeth are to remain in their ideal position, your cooperation is essential. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements will last a lifetime.