The Relationship between Orthodontics and Retainer Use

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry with the main focus of correcting misaligned teeth. After patients undergo orthodontic treatment, it’s vital to understand that their treatment journey doesn’t just end there. In fact, maintaining the outcome of the treatment is the next significant step, and this is where retainers come into play. As customized orthodontic devices that are designed to hold teeth in their new positions, retainers are removable and usually worn for an extended period after treatment.

Orthodontic Treatment and Retainer Use

When it comes to achieving a healthy and beautiful smile, orthodontic treatment and retainer use are two essential components. It’s essential for patients to understand that the entire process involves a sequential series of steps that must be followed to ensure optimal results.

Initial Orthodontic Assessment

The first step in the orthodontic treatment process is the initial assessment. During this phase, our orthodontist will carefully assess your orthodontic issues and concerns to chart out the best treatment plan tailored to your needs. Be prepared for this evaluation to possibly include X-rays, photographs, and molds of the teeth. Your treatment strategy may include the use of braces, aligners, or other orthodontic devices.

Treatment Phase

The treatment phase marks the next stage, and this phase involves the use of braces or other alternative orthodontic devices to gently guide your teeth into their correct positions. The duration of this phase can differ, depending on the extent of your orthodontic issues. Be prepared that it may take several months to several years to complete treatment.

As you go through the treatment phase, it will be necessary for you to make frequent visits to your orthodontist in order to have your orthodontic device fine-tuned and adjusted. These adjustments are instrumental in ensuring that your teeth are moving correctly and that your treatment is progressing as intended.

Retention Phase

The retention phase is the final step in the orthodontic process, but it’s certainly not any less important than the previous stages. Once your teeth have been moved into their correct positions, you will need to wear a retainer to maintain the new alignment.

Keep in mind that retainers may be removable or bonded to the back of the teeth. Our orthodontist will determine which type of retainer is best suited for your needs.

Overall, the retention phase is crucial to the success of the orthodontic treatment. Without proper retention, your teeth may shift back to their original positions, negating all the progress made during the treatment phase.

Benefits of Retainer Use Post Orthodontic Treatment

To further cement the importance of retainer use in your post-orthodontic treatment, here are some of the key benefits you should know about:

Prevents relapse: Without retainers, teeth have a natural tendency to shift back to their original position. This is known as relapse. Retainers help prevent relapse by holding teeth in their new position until they become stable.

Improves bite: Retainers can help improve your bite by ensuring that your upper and lower teeth fit well together. In turn, this can help reduce the risk of other dental problems such as jaw pain, headaches, and tooth wear.

Maintains alignment: Retainers help maintain the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. They ensure that your teeth stay in the desired position and do not move out of alignment.

Reduces risk of gum disease: Retainers can help reduce the risk of gum disease by ensuring that your teeth are properly aligned. When your teeth are crooked or crowded, it can be challenging to clean them properly, which can lead to gum disease.

Schedule Your Orthodontic Treatment with Modern Orthodontics Today

Ultimately, retainers stand as a vital element of orthodontic treatment, significantly preventing the movement of teeth after your treatment. Wearing retainers will help maintain your teeth in the optimal aesthetic and functional position. This is why before you begin your orthodontic treatment, you must grasp the significance of the retention phase and be willing to commit to long-term retention. Working closely with our orthodontists and following their guidance meticulously is key to helping you attain lasting results, fostering better oral health that will reap benefits in the years ahead.

Author: Dr. Alan Wong
Dr. Alan Wong is a dedicated orthodontist who loves helping his patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. He is committed to providing gentle, effective care in a patient-centered environment. Dr. Wong is also a strong believer in continuing education, so he can provide his patients with the latest and greatest treatment options.