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Teeth Straightening: Why Your Retainer is Important

Teeth Straightening Port Charlotte, FL

Teeth straightening treatment requires commitment. To achieve results, there are instructions to follow as the treatment progresses. When treatment ends and the teeth have moved to the desired positions, the feeling is ecstatic. However, wearing the straightening device is only one stage of the teeth straightening process. Keeping the teeth in their positions is just as important as moving them. This is where retainers come in.

Overview of retainers

A retainer is an orthodontic device that is custom-made for patients' mouths. The dentist will use impressions of the straightened smile to produce the retainer. The material used is sturdy and transparent plastic.

As it is when starting braces or clear aligners, it might take a while to get used to wearing the retainer. Any initial discomfort is short-term and should not be a deterrent for using the retainers according to instructions. Failure to wear the retainer may lead to the teeth' movement to their previous positions, annulling all the hard work of the past months of undergoing treatment.

After the teeth are straight, patients will need to wear a form of retainer occasionally for a long time. Some factors determine the duration of retainer use. for at least three to six months after the braces or aligners come off, patients will be advised to use the aligners all the time, removing them only when brushing or eating. After the teeth start to adjust to the new position and become more stable, the frequency of use may reduce to night time only.

Consistent use of the retainers for about one to three years after teeth straightening will avert orthodontic relapse. Forever might be too long to wear retainers, but to maintain a straight and beautiful smile, the dentist will recommend wearing the retainers to bed for at least three nights per week indefinitely. This may seem like a hassle at first, but patients often get used to the routine eventually.

How the retainer works

During the teeth straightening process, the teeth are not the only part of the oral cavity that changes position. The jaw is not the only thing holding the teeth. Every tooth remains in its socket due to the elastic ligaments connecting the tooth roots to the bone. These elastic ligaments are healthy tissue and are involved in the teeth' movement, creating room for micro-movements as the orthodontic device induces a force on the teeth. The tension from braces or Invisalign® also triggers the formation of new ligaments and sometimes bone.

The first part of the treatment is called the remodeling stage, and the tissues, ligaments, and bone will need to stabilize after the stage ends. If patients do not wear a retainer to hold the teeth at this point, the teeth will slowly shift back. The new position of the teeth takes some time to become permanent, hence the need for retainers.

In summary

The retainer provided after teeth straightening treatment helps to stabilize the bite by keeping the teeth in their position. To learn more, book an appointment with the dentist for a consultation.

Request an appointment here: https://dragonflydentalportcharlotte.com or call Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte at (941) 676-9225 for an appointment in our Port Charlotte office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Straightening in Port Charlotte, FL.

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