Importance of Retainers

Importance of Retainers
Posted on 08/31/2019
Importance of Retainers

The Importance of Your Retainer After Braces

When you finally get your braces off after completing orthodontic treatment we know you'll be excited. But hold your horses: you're not quite out of the woods yet! After your braces come off, you'll begin the retention phase of orthodontic treatment, and this period is crucial to the longevity of your smile. Curious to know why? You're not alone – and as your dedicated orthodontist in Bellingham and Anacortes, we at Derek Damon Orthodontics would love to shed some light on the importance of your retainer.

Why Do I Need a Retainer After Braces?

When we remove your braces, your new smile will be complete. That might leave you wondering: why do I need to keep wearing an orthodontic appliance if my teeth are already in their new positions?

To answer this question, we have to take a look at the anatomy of the mouth. What many people don't realize is that the roots of the teeth don't connect directly into the jawbone. Instead, they sit in a structure called the periodontal ligament. The periodontal ligament is composed of many short fibers that connect the tooth root to the jawbone. It's these fibers that make orthodontic treatment possible: by applying a gentle, constant force on the tooth, we're able to pull and stretch these fibers to shift the teeth into new positions. But the fibers can't accommodate this change all at once. Instead, they retain a partial "memory" of their original position, and left to their own devices, they'll drag the teeth back into their old, familiar positions.

This is where retention comes in. A retainer provides a guard that keeps the teeth firmly in their new positions, allowing the periodontal ligament fibers time to adjust and "settle" into the new alignment. Without a retainer, the teeth would gradually drift back to their old alignment and erase your new smile. But with proper wear, your retainers will cement the new positions of your teeth, helping to protect your new smile for years to come.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Anacortes Orthodontist

Retention is just as important to the long-term success of your orthodontic treatment as braces – and if you're interested in starting treatment with braces for yourself, we'd love to help. Take the first step towards a gorgeous new smile and use our easy online form to request an orthodontic consultation today. We'll help you understand your orthodontic condition, choose the treatment that's best for you, and set you on the path to a beautiful new smile. We can't wait to hear from you!

Derek Damon Orthodontics

  • Bellingham Location - 3400 Squalicum Pkwy., Suite 101, Bellingham, WA 98225 | Phone: 360.676.6060
  • Anacortes Location - 1220 22nd St., Suite A, Anacortes, WA 98221 | Phone: 360.293.2888

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