Your braces are off, so orthodontic treatment is over! Right? Wrong. Realigning your bite with braces is just step one. Once your orthodontic treatment finishes, you need a way to keep your teeth in place. That’s why you need a retainer.
At Duval Orthodontics, located in Warner Robins and Albany, Georgia, Dr. J.A. Duval specializes in braces and retainers. In this blog post, we share four reasons why you need to wear a retainer after braces.
1. Your new bite needs to settle
Retainers keep your newly aligned teeth in place (hence, “retain”). Depending on the orthodontic treatment you received and your smile pre-braces, you’ll likely need to wear a retainer for a few months after they come off. Dr. Duval usually recommends that you wear a retainer every day for at least three months. Some individuals might need to wear it for longer.
If you don’t wear a retainer after braces, your teeth and jawbone can shift, causing a recurrence of misalignment. This is referred to as a relapse. Relapsing causes your teeth to move back into their old placement because they haven’t settled.
Relapsing can occur in just a few weeks, and it can affect how your retainer fits when you start wearing it again. By following Dr. Duval’s guidelines for retainer wear, you can prevent relapsing and avoid needing orthodontic treatment again.
3. Long-lasting benefits
Retainers prevent misalignment and relapsing, but they provide other benefits, too. Misaligned bites can cause wear-and-tear on your teeth.
Bite problems can also add stress to the joints in your jaw. Wearing your retainer helps prevent these problems in the future.
4. Improved dental health
Crooked teeth and misaligned bites can make it difficult to clean your teeth. It’s easier to miss spots and not clean in between your teeth thoroughly. Bacteria love to hide in the pockets of your teeth, and a build-up can result in tooth decay and even gum disease. Fortunately, regular retainer use keeps your teeth straight and healthy.
Keep your teeth in place with a retainer
A Retainer offers many benefits after your braces come off. It ensures your teeth stay in their new position and prevents relapsing.
Braces off? Now it’s time to maintain that new smile that you worked so hard for. Contact Duval Orthodontics today. Get in touch with our team by phone, or visit us online to book your consultation with Dr. Duval.