Removing Your Last Set of Braces or Aligners Isn’t the End of the Road. Here Is Why
September 8, 2017
It is a thrilling moment for any patient when they finally remove their last set of teeth aligners. The joy of seeing a new, straight and sparkling smile is overwhelming. Even though most of the modern aligners are clear and you can see your smile through them, nothing defeats the feeling of seeing your natural teeth sparkle. It is a great moment that every dentist at a dental clinic norfolk ne would want to be part of.
But as auspicious as it is, there is always another treatment journey to cover after removing your last set of Clear align. When you have your Clear align working on your teeth, it what dentists refer to as the active phase of the treatment. After the active phase, a patient should then embark on a retention phase that will enable them to preserve the gains obtained from the physical phase. In this article, I will break it down so that you know what exactly you should do after removing Clear align.
What Happens During the Active Phase Treatment?
When you put on braces or Clear align aligners, they exert gentle pressure on your teeth and jaw, thus shifting the teeth into the desired position as set out by the orthodontist. If you use them according to the doctors’ specifications, you will be astonished by how they can perfectly shape your teeth, from the start of the treatment to the end.
The force exerted by aligners and braces do not only act on the teeth. The forces also work on the tissues supporting the teeth such as the gums, bones, and jaw. The changes brought about by aligners work up to the cellular level. As these forces reshape your teeth, the ligaments stretch out, bones break, and the teeth may even become loose.
They, however, take the new shape as the aligners continue to exert pressure on them. But when you remove the aligners, you also take off the force that was holding the teeth in place. The teeth will, therefore, tend to shift back to the original position. It is a common occurrence for teenagers whose bones are still growing. The best solution is to kickstart the retention phase.
What Entails the Retention Phase in Clear Aligner Treatment?
The goal of the retention phase is to preserve the gain obtained from the active phase of the Clear align treatment. Retention involves the use of a device known as a retainer that holds your teeth into position and prevents them from going back to the original position.
Wearing a retainer after removing your braces or aligners is the only guaranteed way of maintaining a straight smile. Any season orthodontist will conquer with this. Initially, you will wear a retainer full time for a few days before transitioning to wearing them a few hours at night or any other time you are free.
Depending on your case, a dentist may recommend that you wear a retainer a few times a week. However, it is dependent on how your teeth responded to the Clear align treatment. What’s more important is to follow your dentist’s advice so that you don’t need to start another Clear align treatment.