Through the course of your adjustment sessions your braces have effectively realigned your teeth for a winning smile and a more functional mouth. However, these adjustments were just the first step in achieving your ideal alignment. After your braces are removed a retention phase is required to make sure your teeth will stay in their ideal alignment for many years to come.
Even now that your teeth are in their new alignment, there will still be some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in your mouth. If you don’t use a retainer, this residual tension can slowly start to pull your teeth out of their ideal alignment.
Using a retainer helps to hold your teeth in their new alignment while the tension in your periodontal ligaments subsides. Most people need to use a retainer for about as long as they wore braces. This is provided that you wear your retainer during the prescribed times and it is not damaged or bent. Failing to do so, will almost certainly increase the duration of time you need to use a retainer, and could even lead to other complications.
At Schouten Orthodontics we can usually fit you for one of three different types of retainer during the same session where your braces are removed. You might salivate more, during the first few days wearing a retainer. This is natural and after a while your mouth will adapt and things will return to normal. You should expect to wear your retainer for about as long as you were wearing braces.
If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about using a retainer, you can call Schouten Orthodontics at 435.637.0820 to schedule an appointment.