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Through the course of multiple adjustment sessions, your James B. Macomson, DDS, MSO, PA orthodontist has realigned your teeth for a healthier mouth and an appealing smile. Once your teeth have attained their ideal alignment, we can remove your braces. However, this is still not the end of the realignment process.

Your teeth are anchored into the sockets by a series of strong periodontal ligaments. Each adjustment session has stretched these ligaments a minute amount to move your teeth into their new position. Even after your braces are removed a small amount of residual tension still remains in the periodontal ligaments. This will eventually pull your teeth out of their ideal alignment, if you don’t use a retainer.

As a general rule of thumb, you need to use a retainer for about as long as they you had to wear braces. If you don’t wear your retainer during the prescribed times, or it is damaged, it might increase the amount of time you need to use it. Depending on how your periodontal ligaments respond to the retention process, your orthodontist might adjust the amount of time you need to use it.

You should expect your mouth to salivate a little more for the first few days after you start using a retainer. This is natural. After a few days your mouth will adapt and things should return to normal.

If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about retainers, please feel free to call James B. Macomson, DDS, MSO, PA’s office in Gastonia, North Carolina at 704-215-4430 for a consultation.