When you finish your orthodontic treatment, you are excited to be free of the appliances you’ve had to put up with—brackets, wires, aligners, and so on. However, while it is certainly important to revel in the freedom of your new smile, equally important is taking the necessary action to retain it. And that comes down to one word — retainers.
After completing orthodontic treatment under the care of the skilled orthodontists at Dunn & Schreiber Orthodontics, you will be prescribed a retainer that will be custom-made to fit your smile. Your orthodontist will give you instructions for how and when to wear this retainer, characterizing it as your “retention phase” of treatment. This phase will last for up to 12 months. But, while that is the prescribed time for the phase, it is truly recommended that you continue wearing your retainer past that. Maybe not with the same prescribed consistency your orthodontist initially provided, but at least with some regularity.
Even if you’ve had the best orthodontic treatment possible, over time your teeth will start to shift toward their original positions. This is because your gum fibers will slowly, but consistently try and pull your teeth back to where they once were. Additionally, as you age your facial skeletal structure changes, and your teeth experience natural wear. As a result, the perfectly straight smile you leave the orthodontist with could become unstraightened over time, your teeth becoming a victim to a crowding relapse.