Over the course of multiple adjustment sessions your teeth have been pulled into a healthy and more visually appealing alignment. Now the time has come for your braces to be removed. Of course braces are only one step in the process of providing and maintaining the ideal alignment of your teeth. The next step in the alignment process is called retention.
You see all of the teeth in your mouth are anchored by a series of small, yet strong periodontal ligaments. These ligaments still have a significant amount of residual tension in them even after your braces are removed. If you don’t wear a retainer this residual tension will eventually start to pull your teeth back toward your old bite pattern a process called relapse.
There are several different types of retainers the most common retainer is known as a Hawley. Your orthodontist will recommend which type of retainer is right for you.
In most cases you can be fitted for your retainer during the same session your braces are removed in. The fitting process usually involves a series of x-rays to give us a clear picture of what’s going on in your jaw structure and helps to determine just how long you’ll need to wear your retainer. This is followed up by taking a bite impression.
In general, you will need to wear your retainer for about the same length of time that you were wearing braces.
If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about getting a retainer, please feel free to call us at (928) 774-0881 to schedule an appointment.