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About those retainers…

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Why does my orthodontist ask me to wear my retainers after my braces come off?  The reasons is because you were a naughty patient and your orthodontist wants to punish you!  Just kidding! 🙂

The literature supports the need for lifetime retention.  This means the patient should keep their retainer handy forever.  The reason is that teeth tend to move back to their original location, i.e. before braces treatment.  In addition, the oral environment is dynamic in that the very dimension of the mandible tends change slightly throughout a person’s life.  The arch (bite form) can also change rather quickly if a patient looses a tooth for example.  What this means is teeth follow the laws of physics too and will move to an area of least resistance if a force, or lack thereof, allows it.  This is where our retainers come in.  The retainer will keep the teeth in the position they were in when the retainer was first made.

So don’t forget to wear those retainers!

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Comments on: "About those retainers…" (7)

  1. I broke my retainers about a year ago. I noticed my teeth has shifted a little since then. Should I just have my retainers fixed? Or should i get fitted for new ones? – Tina (Karla’s Friend :] )

    • Tina that is a good question. Believe it or not I still wear my retainers even though a little part of the acrylic towards the back is broken. I have not repaired it because the metal wire is intact, it fits nicely, and it’s functional. If minimal tooth shifting has occurred and you can get your retainer to fit (even thought it may feel a little tight) and the wire is intact, I would guess that its still functional. Your teeth may have a chance to be corrected. The only way to find out is to wear them 24/7 for a week or two and see what happens.

      If its broken and you can’t get it to “seat” you will most likely have to get a new one made. The caveat is that your teeth will be retained in their present state when a new one is made unless you correct the shift before the retainer is made. You should see your orthodontist for an exam to get a proper diagnosis in either scenario because supervision is paramount.

      I hope it helps!
      Dr. Mendieta

  2. What a great read! I lost my retainer and my orthodontist lives in another State, can I go anywhere to get a replacement? And how long do you think it would take to get a new one? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Melissa,
      You can go to an orthodontist to have a replacement made. It should only take about a day or two. We take retention very seriously so we make it in our office and have it ready for you the same day.

      Thanks for asking!

      Dr. Mendieta

  3. Only a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding layout.

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