Orthodontic treatment can take months or years to be complete. During the last few months of treatment, many of our patients tell us that they create a countdown to the day that they get their braces off. It truly is an exciting time! You can eat whatever you want, chew gum, drink without a straw, and floss a whole lot easier. However, you will still have an area of responsibility once your braces come off.
It is a misunderstanding to think that when you get your braces off that your teeth will stay straight forever. The truth is, there is no one right position to move your teeth into that will guarantee a permanent result. Most people find that as they age, their teeth will shift, regardless of whether they underwent orthodontic treatment or not. Therefore, you need to do your part to keep your teeth from moving so that you will enjoy your new, straight smile for life.
Orthodontic treatment begins from the teeth being crooked, gapped, and misaligned. Once orthodontic treatment is complete and the braces are removed, the teeth have a natural tendency to move back to their original positions before treatment began. The first 18 months post-treatment are the most critical until the teeth learn their “new permanent” positions. While orthodontic treatment works to align the teeth, the only way to keep the teeth from shifting is by wearing a retainer regularly.
A retainer is a simple appliance that keeps the teeth aligned after completed orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign®. Retainers are designed around the teeth at the completion of orthodontics, and they work by applying pressure and guidance to the teeth to keep them from drifting back to their original positions. Retainers are necessary for “retaining” the teeth in their new position.
At Broad Street Braces, we are here for you during every step of your orthodontic treatment – which includes after treatment finishes. Wearing your retainer is the best defense against unwanted movement in your newly perfected smile. If you need a new retainer or are interested in orthodontic treatment, contact our practice today.