Do I REALLY need to wear retainers after orthodontic treatment?
Posted on 12/02/2022
Image of casting of teeth

That glorious day! You’ve had your braces on for 21 months – that’s almost two years of your life without Starbursts, popcorn, and corn on the cob!

Today, Dr. O’Brien (a top orthodontist in Ohio, let alone the Dayton areas!) removed your braces and gave you retainers (two sets) with the instructions to wear them 23/7 (all the time except when eating and brushing) for the next four months, and then only at night time after that. BAH!

Now why do you have to do all that when your cousin got his braces off six months ago and told you he stopped wearing his retainers…?

Because what he did not tell you is that some of his teeth have moved, just in those six months, and now your aunt and uncle are paying AGAIN to have his braces put back on to re-align those teeth.

If you recall from your initial consultation appointment at O’Brien Orthodontics, we explained to you the importance of retainer wear indefinitely to maintain the correction provided by your orthodontic treatment. There are fibers that connect teeth to bone, and teeth to gum tissue.  These fibers are elastic in nature. During the alignment process, some fibers are stretched while others are contracted. Without retainer wear, these fibers seek to attain their original length, moving the teeth as they do so.

Teeth continue to move throughout our entire lives, so the importance of regular retainer wear cannot be overstated. “Regular” wear, however, can be very individualized. For some, 2-4 nights per week will be adequate, while for others, every night will be necessary to maintain alignment. Determining what your teeth require can be done by ensuring that your retainers always seat completely after any night of non-wear. This will demonstrate that your teeth have not moved.

And if you’re ever unsure about how to get and keep the best care for your teeth, just call us! We’re one of the best orthodontists in Ohio with offices in both Englewood and Beavercreek, and we can’t wait to help you feel your best.