Through the course of several alignment sessions, your braces help to pull your teeth into a better alignment. With your teeth in their new position your mouth will function better and you will have a more appealing smile. However, braces are just one step of the process of aligning your teeth. The second step involves wearing a retainer.
You see teeth are anchored in the mouth by a series of periodontal ligaments. When your braces are removed there is still some residual tension. If you don’t wear a retainer this residual tension will eventually start to pull your teeth out of alignment. This process is called relapse.
There are several different types of retainers. Your orthodontist will recommend the best one for your mouth. The most common type of retainer is a thin acrylic unit that is molded to the shape of your mouth, and anchored in place by wires that lock into your teeth.
How long you need to wear the retainer might vary. The average treatment duration is equal to the same amount of time you needed to wear braces.
It’s not uncommon for you to salivate a little more when you first start wearing a retainer. In time your mouth will adjust to it and the saliva production should return to normal.
If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about getting a retainer, please feel free to call us at 770-664-6003 to schedule an appointment.