Once your braces treatment is completed, wearing retainers is essential to maintain the new smile. If you don't wear retainers, your teeth may shift over time, often beginning to misalign. Sometimes, you may stop wearing the retainer, and when you start wearing it again, you feel that it is too tight. When that happens, you can still wear it in some instances. A retainer helps maintain the results of orthodontic braces or aligner treatment.
Why You Need a Retainer
When you chew and bite, you exert force through the teeth into the jaws, sending signals to the cells known as osteoblasts to cement and keep the bone strong. Once the teeth align with orthodontics such as Invisalign or traditional wire braces, the process of osteoblasts helps the teeth settle into the new place while the retainer holds them there. Therefore, when you don't put on a retainer, the teeth would relapse toward the previous undesired position before the strengthening the bone occurs sufficiently to allow the teeth to remain in the correct position naturally without needing reinforcement.
Wear it Even if it is Tight
As long as the retainer isn't hurting and fits over the teeth, there is no reason why you shouldn't wear it, even if it's tight. Perhaps it feels tight because the teeth have shifted. When this is the case, you need to wear your retainer for longer hours each day to prevent further shifting of your teeth. You may start by wearing it all day long for several days to help encourage the teeth to go back into the desired positions.
The Retainers Doesn't Fit
If the retainer isn't fitting at all or feels painful, you need to see our orthodontist. Don't try forcing the teeth into the retainer. Our orthodontist will check to find out the problem. Sometimes, you may need to get a new retainer. Upon evaluation of your situation, the orthodontist may recommend that you get some clear aligners or help tweak the teeth back into the proper position.
Working with our orthodontic team before, during, and after braces treatment is paramount as it helps ensure that your smile continues to be healthy. For any issues with your retainers or braces, contact us today.
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