Upper and lower retainers are placed after the braces are removed to hold the teeth in their corrected positions. It takes several months for the bone to rebuild itself around the roots of the teeth, so it is very important to wear your retainers all of the time. In fact, wearing your retainers is as equally important, if not more so, than the braces themselves.
If the retainers are not worn, your teeth will begin to shift back to their original position. The more rotated the teeth were originally, the more they will move. This is why it is so important to wear the retainers. We will see you periodically to check your retainers to be sure they are doing their job.
Once the active treatment period is completed, your braces are removed. The next step is called retention. Retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. You must wear your retainer as instructed, otherwise your teeth may move toward their original positions and the benefit of wearing your braces will be lost.
Dr. Bill will determine how long you need to wear your retainer. Time varies with each patient. Some people may need retainers for an extended period of time in order to eliminate shifting of the teeth. In some cases, permanent retention may be necessary. The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected!
We don't see you as regularly once your braces have been removed. If you have a problem with instability of your teeth, please wear your retainers all the time and contact us for an appointment.