The Grand Canyons

Braces Off? You Will Likely Need Retainers

Posted In Talking Points - By The Grand Canyons on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 With No Comments »

RetainersMany people do not realise that the removal of your braces is not the end of your orthodontic treatment. You will have to wear retainers, likely for the rest of your life. It is just a measure to keep your teeth straight so that they do not move back into their original positions.

Weybridge Orthodontics, a dental practice in Surrey, recommends that patients wear retainers continually for the first six months after the removal of their braces. This is because the relapse rate in the first six months of getting your braces removed is very high. Your teeth are likely to shift and become crooked again.

Teeth Always Return to their Original Positions

So why do teeth return to their original positions after the removal of braces?

Well, when wearing braces, the teeth are under constant pressure to force them into their new positions. This happens slowly, and will need several months or years, depending on the severity of the misalignment.

Since teeth are anchored into the jawbone, each root is surrounded by bone. As the tooth moves, the bone disappears in a process called resorption. Once the teeth are in their permanent positions, new bone is deposited around the tooth to stabilise it.

It takes several months for the new bone to grow. The area is loose and unstable, so the teeth are likely to relapse back to their original positions in the first few months after brace removal.

Retainers are for Life

The only way to stabilise the teeth and to coax new bone growth is to wear retainers. After wearing the retainers continuously for several months, your dentist may ask you to wear it only at night, or ask you to wear it less frequently.

However, you will likely have to keep wearing retainers for the rest of your life. The teeth may begin misaligning again without the constant pressure provided by fixed braces.

Luckily, retainers today are more comfortable to wear than retainers of the past. Styles like Essix retainers are almost invisible and fit snugly in your mouth. Once you get used to wearing retainers, the discomfort becomes less apparent. You can smile with confidence and keep your newly straightened teeth.