Ladera Ranch, CA – The day a patient’s braces come off is a celebrated day in an orthodontist’s office. The patient is no doubt thrilled to show off their newly straightened smile and the orthodontist is thrilled to see the patient’s reaction. But just because the braces have been removed doesn’t mean the work stops.
Retainers are a crucial component to orthodontic treatment. The retention phase starts once the braces are removed. A retainer is important because it does just what the name implies – retains the smile. Without it your teeth may drift back to where they were before you began orthodontic treatment.
It generally takes time for the bones and gum tissues around the teeth to reorganize and adjust to everything that happened over the course of treatment. The retainer holds the teeth in place while this happens. Without retainers, those tissues tend to drift the teeth back to where they were originally.
It is very important that immediately following the removal of the braces that you wear your retainer exactly as your orthodontist prescribes. For most patients this will be around the clock – only taking it out to eat, brush, and floss. Depending on what your smile and bite looked like prior to treatment, it may take some time for everything to stabilize. Dr. Gire and Dr. Salmassian will be able to customize a wear pattern for your specific situation. More times than not, we try to get you to night time use as soon as you’re stable enough to do so.
Drs. Gire and Salmassian will recommend retainer wear that is right for you, based on your orthodontic issues. Some patients only need to wear the retainer around the clock for one month while for others it may be much longer. One should never compare what your orthodontist tells you to what another orthodontist has told a friend or family member. Every situation is unique and the treating orthodontist has created a plan that is specific to the individual patient.
At Ladera Orthodontics, the most commonly used retainer is a clear retainer that looks very similar to Invisalign aligners. It’s a beautiful retainer that’s virtually invisible to others so you can show off your new smile proudly. Hawley retainers, the retainers with a metal wire on the front and acrylic on the inside, aren’t used as often today – much to the appreciation of our patients!
The staff at Ladera Orthodontics knows how hard our patients work during their treatment which is why we stress the importance of proper retainer wear. We would hate to see all of your hard work go to waste because you didn’t wear the retainer as directed. If you wear your retainer exactly as we recommend, you’ll set yourself up for a smile that will last a lifetime!
Call us today to start your journey to your perfect smile: Ladera Orthodontics, 949-272-8782.