Why Is Wearing a Retainer So Important After Braces?
Wearing a retainer is the last stage in most orthodontic treatment plans; however, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less important than all the stages that come before it. According to Dr. Jon Dematteis of Ortho Sync Dentistry in White Plains, teeth straightening is a multi-step process that patients and their orthodontists must work together to achieve.
When most people think of orthodontics, the first thing they think of are the metal brackets and wires that pre-teens and teenagers wear when straightening out their teeth. In White Plains, however, Dr. Dematteis says that patients should be aware that their treatment processes are not complete when those metal braces come off.
To prevent teeth from relapsing, Dr. Dematteis recommends that all his orthodontic patients wear custom retainers each day and night. The number of hours each day that patients should wear their retainers will vary depending on how many months have passed since their braces came off.
In the initial months after a patient’s braces come off, Dr. Dematteis recommends wearing retainers full-time, 24-hours a day. After a few months have gone by, patients can cut back and start wearing their braces each night, seven days a week. Patients should continue wearing their retainers nightly for at least two or three years, after which time it is okay to wear retainers just two or three nights each week. The more serious a patient is about preventing relapse, the more frequently he will wear his retainer.
Dr. Dematteis says that all teeth have the tendency to slowly shift back into their original position if they are left unattended after an orthodontic teeth straightening treatment in White Plains. Patients who refuse to wear their retainers each night should expect that their teeth will relapse by at least 20%, eliminating a significant degree of the aesthetic and functional improvements they gained through their orthodontic treatments.
If a person wants to prevent relapsing, then Dr. Dematteis says he must wear a retainer nightly. Orthodontists are willing to work with their patients to create comfortable retainers that fit their aesthetic requirements, but it is up to the patients themselves to actually wear the appliances that their orthodontists have created. Dr. Dematteis tells all of his patients to wear their retainers as frequently as possible in the months immediately following their orthodontic treatments, even if they don’t plan on continuing the practice in the years ahead. At a very minimum, he says people should plan on wearing their retainers nightly through their mid-20s.
For more information on teeth straightening in White Plains, Dr. Dematteis recommends contacting his office and scheduling a consultation appointment.
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.