Why Braces are Just the First Step to a Great Smile


Orthodontist Houston, TX | Braces HumbleAt Royal Dental, patients benefit from our extensive training in the area of orthodontics. Our offices in the Houston area provide personalized care that seeks to obtain the best possible result while also accommodating patients desires. This is why we offer Invisalign as well as conventional orthodontic treatment, followed by appropriate maintenance. Maintenance, as you may assume, means retainer.

Once you have the gorgeous smile you’ve been working so hard for, the last thing you might want is to have to wear a small metal wire across it. We can understand the aversion that many patients have to the idea of wearing a retainer. However, we also have to point out that this is the vital step in orthodontic treatment for lasting results.

Why You Need a Retainer

First, we want to say that a retainer isn’t that bad. In fact, most patients acclimate to their new appliance very quickly. Even if your teeth were straightened with Invisalign, your mouth would adjust to its retainer with relative ease. The question is, will you? We hope you will because a retainer is the only way to keep your teeth in their new, aligned position. When patients do not wear their retainer as directed, there is a very good chance that they will experience what we call orthodontic relapse.

Orthodontic relapse is a common first-year “complication” after orthodontic treatment. The reason why teeth can move back to their old position, even after 18 months or more in braces, is because the ligament that holds teeth in place has been slightly weakened. It’s not so much that orthodontic treatment weakens the ligament and muscle that hold teeth, but that the hold on teeth roots are loosened somewhat by the pressure of orthodontic fixtures. This is necessary to get teeth where we want them. However, the looseness that has occurred doesn’t bounce back overnight. This can take a few years. Therefore, during that time, dentists advise patients to wear a retainer. First, this fixture needs to be in place all the time. After several months, though, retainer wear downgrades to nighttime use only.

We want to help you get and keep the smile of your dreams. For personal dental care in the Houston area, call 713-330-7700.

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