How Long Does It Take for Retainer to Fix Crooked Tooth?

How Long Does It Take for Retainer to Fix Crooked Tooth?

Jun 01, 2023

Braces are ideal for crooked or misaligned teeth. After treatment, you’re excited not to wear the aligners as they can be uncomfortable throughout the day. However, it is imperative to wear retainers to ensure that your teeth don’t return to their original position. Retainers are not usually recommended as the first option for fixing misaligned teeth, but they can significantly assist in keeping your teeth at their desired place after treatment by braces. So, what are retainers, and how long does it take for a retainer to fix a crooked tooth? Keep on reading to find out.

What Are Retainers?

A retainer is a dental appliance used to help your teeth retain their new position after alignment. Remembering that retainers are not designed to fit all your teeth at once like braces is essential. For instance, the dentist may recommend a retainer for one crooked tooth while the other teeth don’t have an orthodontic appliance. When you wear retainers as instructed by the dentist near you, they can effectively fix crooked teeth.

So, why do teeth shift after treatment or relapse? Here are some of the reasons:

  • Due to mouth memory- your periodic ligaments and structures that hold your teeth in place have the memory of where they once were. Therefore, after the dentist removes the braces, these structures and periodic ligaments shift your teeth back to their original position.
  • Changes in the mouth- losing a tooth creates a gap between teeth. Once there is a gap, the remaining teeth will shift towards the gap, eventually leading to misalignment. Additionally, the ageing process can also lead to the shifting of teeth.
  • There is no orthodontic appliance holding your teeth in place- although people wear braces for some time, eventually, you’ll have to remove them once the treatment is complete. Unfortunately, the braces might be the only reason holding your teeth in place. This is why you should look for a dentist who installs retainers in Fort Valley. They’re going to make custom-made retainers to hold your teeth in place.
  • Forces putting pressure on your teeth- opening and closing your mouth and chewing food can exert a lot of pressure on your teeth. These forces can cause your teeth to move out of position. The shifting will not happen overnight, but you will notice that your teeth are out of position after some time.
  • Ligaments are not fixed- our teeth are connected to the jaw bone through the periodontal ligament. Unfortunately, this ligament is elastic, and although it helps align teeth, it can also work the other way.

How Does A Retainer Work, And How Long Should You Wear One?

A retainer holds your teeth in the desired alignment while the bone has time to harden. Orthodontists recommend wearing retainers for around 12 hours each for the first three months and removing them when brushing, flossing, or eating. Afterwards, you can wear them during sleeping hours or when the dentist recommends them. Following the dentist’s instructions ensures your teeth don’t shift out of alignment.

If you follow the dentist’s instructions, you will see slight differences in your teeth’ alignment. Your smile will look more uniform as your teeth align properly.

There are different types of retainers available in the market. Visiting Whitaker Family Dentistry is the best way to know which suits you. Our dental professional will examine your teeth and recommend the most suitable type of retainer. For instance, if you have a less prominent teeth misalignment problem, the dentist will recommend a temporary plastic retainer. On the other hand, the dentist can recommend wire-bound or permanent retainers if you have a severe misalignment problem.

Are Retainers Effective in Correcting Shifting Teeth?

Ideally, your retainers can only do so much to help your shifting teeth. So, when you begin to see a noticeable shift in your teeth, it might be too late to fix your shifting teeth with retainers alone. As mentioned earlier, a retainer’s task is to hold teeth in their place and not to shift them back when they begin to move.

Therefore, going for orthodontic treatment in a certified dental clinic is essential. The orthodontist will determine whether retainers will be useful or if you will need braces for your teeth.

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