Now that Dr. Mike A. Musso has successfully adjusted and realigned your teeth for a more functional mouth and appealing smile, the time has come to have your braces removed. However, it’s important to keep in mind that adjusting your teeth with braces was just the first phase of the realignment process. Once your braces are removed a retention phase is required to make sure your teeth will stay in their ideal alignment for many years to come.
Once your braces are removed there will still be some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in place. Without wearing a retainer, this residual tension can slowly start to pull your teeth back towards their previous misalignment. This process is called relapse.
Using a retainer helps to hold your teeth in their new alignment while the tension in your periodontal ligaments subsides. So long as you wear your retainer during the prescribed times and it is not bent or damaged, you should only need to use it for about as long as you had braces.
Dr. Mike A. Musso can usually fit you for a custom retainer during the same session where your braces are removed. To do this he might want to take few x-rays and take an impression or your bite pattern.
When you first start wearing a retainer, your mouth might produce more saliva for a few days. This is natural and after a while your mouth will adapt and things will return to normal. You should expect to wear your retainer for about as long as you were wearing braces.
If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about wearing a retainer, you can call Dr. Mike A. Musso at 972-840-8477 to schedule an appointment.