Posts for tag: retainers

By Mississauga Dental Arts
November 18, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: retainers  

It’s been a long road with your braces, but now they’re finally off. Hopefully the first glimpse of your new smile more than made up for the time and effort they required.

But while braces removal is a big milestone, it’s not the end of your treatment—not, that is, if you want to keep that new smile! You’ll now need to wear an appliance called a retainer for a few years or, in some cases, from now on.

Orthodontic retainers are a must after braces for the same reason braces work in the first place—your teeth can move. While the teeth attach to the jawbone via the roots, they’re firmly held in place by an elastic gum tissue network called the periodontal ligament. This tough but elastic tissue lies between the teeth and gums and attaches securely to both with tiny fibers.

While the ligament provides stability, it’s also dynamic—constantly remodeling to allow the teeth to move in response to biting pressure and other mouth factors. Orthodontists use this mechanism when moving teeth to better positions. The braces apply pressure on the teeth in the desired direction and the periodontal ligament responds as the teeth move.

Afterward, however, the ligament can still retain a kind of “muscle memory” for a time of the teeth’s old positions. Free of the pressure once supplied by the braces the teeth have a tendency, especially early on, to “rebound” to where they were.

A retainer helps prevent this by exerting just enough pressure to “retain” the teeth in their new positions. In the beginning this may require wearing the appliance around the clock, but you may be able later to reduce wear time to just a few hours a day. Rebounding is unpredictable, so you should continue to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations on retainer wear.

Wearing a retainer may seem like a drag, but it’s absolutely essential. Being diligent about it will help ensure that the beautiful smile you and your orthodontist worked so hard to obtain stays with you for years to come.

If you would like more information on getting a new smile through orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

By Mississauga Dental Arts
February 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

In her decades-long career, renowned actress Kathy Bates has won Golden Globes, Emmys, and many other honors. Bates began acting in her twenties, but didn't achieve national recognition until she won the best actress Oscar for Misery — when she was 42 years old! “I was told early on that because of my physique and my look, I'd probably blossom more in my middle age,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “[That] has certainly been true.” So if there's one lesson we can take from her success, it might be that persistence pays off.

When it comes to her smile, Kathy also recognizes the value of persistence. Now 67, the veteran actress had orthodontic treatment in her 50's to straighten her teeth. Yet she is still conscientious about wearing her retainer. “I wear a retainer every night,” she said. “I got lazy about it once, and then it was very difficult to put the retainer back in. So I was aware that the teeth really do move.”

Indeed they do. In fact, the ability to move teeth is what makes orthodontic treatment work. By applying consistent and gentle forces, the teeth can be shifted into better positions in the smile. That's called the active stage of orthodontic treatment. Once that stage is over, another begins: the retention stage. The purpose of retention is to keep that straightened smile looking as good as it did when the braces came off. And that's where the retainer comes in.

There are several different kinds of retainers, but all have the same purpose: To hold the teeth in their new positions and keep them from shifting back to where they were. We sometimes say teeth have a “memory” — not literally, but in the sense that if left alone, teeth tend to migrate back to their former locations. And if you've worn orthodontic appliances, like braces or aligners, that means right back where you started before treatment.

By holding the teeth in place, retainers help stabilize them in their new positions. They allow new bone and ligaments to re-form and mature around them, and give the gums time to remodel themselves. This process can take months to years to be complete. But you may not need to wear a retainer all the time: Often, removable retainers are worn 24 hours a day at first; later they are worn only at night. We will let you know what's best in your individual situation.

So take a tip from Kathy Bates, star of the hit TV series American Horror Story, and wear your retainer as instructed. That's the best way to keep your straight new smile from changing back to the way it was — and to keep a bad dream from coming true.

If you would like more information about orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.” The interview with Kathy Bates appears in the latest issue of Dear Doctor.

By Mississauga Dental Arts
March 16, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   retainers  

Your Mississauga dentist explains why wearing a retainer is so important for your smile.

What is a retainer?

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance made from plastic or wires, custom-made to fit over your teeth to keep your newly straightened smile in place. There are many different styles of retainers; however, many of them are removable.

Why do I need to wear a retainer?

It seems fair to wonder why you need to wear yet another oral appliance on your teeth after you finally got your braces off; however, wearing a retainer after braces is the best way to guarantee that your straighter smile stays that way.

What happens if I don’t wear a retainer?

If your braces are removed and you decide against wearing a retainer, then essentially you will lose those beautiful new results you worked so hard to get. Because your teeth weren’t naturally straight to begin with, we needed to use braces to get the results you wanted. However, because this wasn’t their natural position, it’s very easy for them to return to their original place if there is nothing to hold your straighter smile in check. That’s why wearing your retainer is critical to maintaining your results.

How long will I need to wear a retainer?

The stage after getting your braces off is known as the retention stage. This means that in order to retain that beautiful new smile, you will need to wear a retainer. Once you are fitted with you retainer, your Mississauga dentist will most likely tell you that you need to wear it every day for several months. The average amount of time that someone wears a retainer full-time is six months; however, this may be longer or shorter depending on the case. After a few months, you will only need to wear your retainer at night. After a few years, you may only need to wear your retainer every few nights.

How should I care for my retainer?

It’s important to know that while your retainer is removable, you should refrain from removing it a lot. However, a retainer should be removed before eating, brushing or playing sports. You can use your toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your retainer. Whenever you aren’t wearing your retainer it’s important to place it back in its box so it won’t get broken or damaged.

If you have any questions about wearing your retainer or if you need to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to call your Mississauga orthodontist at Mississauga Dental Arts.

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Mississauga Dental Arts

(905) 286-1569

Mississauga, ON Dentist
Mississauga Dental Arts
350 Burnhamthorpe Road East #2
Mississauga, ON L5A 3S5
(905) 286-1569