After an orthodontic treatment, it is customary for patients to wear retainers. This plastic or metal tray fits over the teeth to keep them straight, and each one is custom-made according to the shape of the patient’s mouth and the alignment of the patient’s teeth.
The reason for retainers is simple: teeth, even after being straightened by braces, will shift. Speaking and eating do their part in this, as will any impacted wisdom teeth. Besides that, the bone holding the teeth needs time to build up new tissue and solidify, which is why it’s critical to wear retainers after completion of any orthodontic treatment.
The important point is that retainers are meant to keep teeth straight, not straighten them in the first place. However, after years of La Costa dental work, we know of one scenario where retainers can help straighten teeth. Let’s say your teeth start to become crooked a year after you stopped wearing your retainers; if your old retainers still fits your teeth, then it could return your teeth to the position that the retainers is molded in.
Nevertheless, any dentist in San Diego will tell you that old retainers will be ineffective against major malocclusion (teeth misalignment). To begin with, it won’t fit over the teeth, and forcing it over your teeth will only damage them as well as ruin the retainers. The takeaway, then, is that retainers can straighten, or rather realign, teeth in limited cases.
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Our dentist wants La Jolla residents to be fully informed before they go for an orthodontic treatment. For more details, or to schedule an appointment, simply call Solana Family Dental today!