You’ve worked diligently to wear your Invisalign aligners, care for your metal or clear braces to accomplish your goal — a beautiful, confident new smile! You have every right to be excited on the day your treatment ends and every time you look in the mirror! With premier orthodontic practices in Sacramento, Placerville, Roseville, Modesto and El Dorado Hills, Hoybjerg Family Orthodontics has helped hundreds of children, teens and adults just like you live their best life with a sparkling smile.
However, the day you get your braces off or throw away that last set of aligners is the beginning of the next phase of your orthodontic treatment — the retention phase. Wearing your retainer is critically important to keeping your teeth in their perfect place.
A retainer is a small orthodontic appliance made of smooth plastic and stainless steel custom-molded to fit your newly straightened teeth. It may be a fixed retainer — permanently bonded to the inside of your teeth — and/or a removable retainer. In both cases, your retainer will be virtually invisible.
Even though your teeth are established in their correct place, your gums and bones, as well as the muscles of the lips and cheeks are still changing. As long as these elements are still developing, your teeth will be inclined to return to their original position. Your retainer can help. Your retainer eliminates the chance of teeth backsliding, shifting into a more crooked position and ruining your perfect smile.
The reason your teeth tend to return to their original, crooked position after your metal braces or Invisalign treatment ends is, well, rooted in the roots of your teeth. Your teeth’s roots are actually connected to the periodontal ligament — a layer above your jawbone that is composed of short fibers that connect the tooth’s root to the jawbone. During orthodontic treatment, Drs. Hoybjerg, Woo and Gaiduchik are able to pull and stretch these fibers to allow the teeth to move into new positions using gentle force. They apply this force by tightening the wires and brackets on whatever type of braces you are wearing or by changing the Invisalign clear aligners. However, these fibers retain a partial “memory” of their original position and without a consistent gentle force provided by your retainer, they’ll drag the teeth back into their old, familiar positions.
Remember how important the retainers and retention phase are to your overall treatment. If you need to begin the retention phase of your treatment or have questions about caring for or wearing your retainer, give a call to the nearest office of your premier orthodontic practice. Our team of friendly professionals located in Sacramento, Placerville, Roseville, Modesto and El Dorado Hills, is standing by to answer all of your questions and help you continue to care for your new, beautiful smile. Contact us by phone to schedule a free consultation to begin your Invisalign or traditional braces treatment. We look forward to helping you begin or continue your journey to a beautiful new smile!