Crooked teeth present more than just an aesthetic issue … areas for plaque to form and build can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease. In addition to correcting problems concerning your dental health, your morale can receive a much needed boost when you have your bite corrected and teeth straightened with orthodontics.
Children, teens, and adults … no matter your age or place in life everyone wants to look their best. A winning smile is important; and if you undergo the time and expense of wearing braces, you should do everything you can to protect that investment. One of those steps is to follow instructions to the letter when it comes to wearing your retainer following orthodontic treatment.
While you are wearing braces, your teeth are slowly being shifted to their correct placement. As teeth are moved, be mindful that their former position was there for your lifetime. So in order for teeth to form a memory of their new placement, they must find a way to be locked in that new place.
Locking teeth into their new occlusion is the work of the retainer. The word retainer has multiple meanings, but in the case or orthodontics, the retainer is a device or structure that holds something in place. So once your bite has been corrected, and teeth have been moved to their ideal location, the retainer is worn to “retain” this placement.
There are different styles of retainers … your orthodontist will recommend the one best suited for you. Along with the retainer, instructions for its use will be issued. Many patients are advised to wear their retainer 24/7 for a period of time; some patients are weaned from their retainer by wearing it at night only.
Patients who want their orthodontic experience to be over might be tempted to forego wearing the retainer as directed. But these patients must understand that wearing the retainer is actually the final step to their orthodontic program; not wearing it as advised prevents teeth from developing a memory of their new location allowing them to drift back to their original location – don’t waste months or years of treatment by skipping this final, important step in orthodontic care.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact the office of Dr. John Morris at 269-979-1500 today.