RETAINER RESOLUTION for the Upcoming 2023!
With the holidays upon us, please make sure to add regular nightly retainer wear to your New Year's resolutions list. Your smile and bite will thank you!
Orthodontic retention is known as the final stage of your orthodontic treatment. The goal of this stage is to maintain the final alignment of your teeth and occlusion (or bite) indefinitely. As orthodontists, generally speaking, everything that we treat we tend to retain. We want to ensure that we maintain the achieved desired dental positioning, spaces gained, arch development, and anterior - posterior bite correction for the future. The retainers that are used at the end of the Early (Phase I) treatment and comprehensive or Phase II treatment may vary in design but their purposes are similar: to maintain the new dental positioning achieved orthodontically in a controlled way.
All teeth once aligned in a new position have "memory" of their earlier position. Once the teeth are in a new position the elastic periodontal (gum) fibers around the teeth remain stretched for some time. Thus, physical reinforcement from retainers is needed to offset this tendency of teeth to move back or "relapse". There are many other factors that may contribute to orthodontic relapse such as skeletal growth, wisdom teeth, loss of periodontal attachment (bone and gum tissue support).
At Orchard of Smiles Orthodontics, we emphasize the fact that retention is for life since teeth can always move, and thus also move back. The orthodontic relapse tendency is completely individual. However, it is difficult to impossible to predict. Hence, it is very important to wear retainers indefinitely.
In our office, the most common retainers that we deliver at the end of comprehensive orthodontic treatment are the clear plastic shell retainers. These retainers are aesthetic, easy and comfortable to wear and since they cover the teeth fully tend to maintain the three dimensional position of the teeth predictably well. These types of retainers also can help protect teeth against clenching and mild cases of bruxism and offset nocturnal (nightly) dental wear. Please ensure to follow your orthodontist's recommendations pertaining to retainer wear. At Orchard of Smiles Orthodontics we recommend that these clear retainers are worn every night - or more - to protect your beautiful smile and bite after orthodontic treatment!
If you have any questions or would like more information about orthodontic retention please do not hesitate to call our office or schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation.