Is Retention Really a Necessary Step After Braces?

When patients finally get their braces removed, it can be such a relief. With no more metal wires and a beautiful smile, you can feel confident about showing the world. While the bulk of your orthodontic treatment journey will involve braces, orthodontic retention is a necessary second step in your journey. Find out a little more about retention treatment in Columbia, SC, why it’s necessary, and more below.

What is retention?

Retention is the period after your braces are removed in which you have to wear a retainer. Retention helps to stabilize your teeth and keep them from shifting once the braces are removed. The retainer can be made out of different materials and is not as visible as your braces. In fact, some types of retainers are not all that visible at all. Depending on your preferences and treatment plan, the orthodontist may recommend:

  • Traditional metal and acrylic retainers
  • Clear aligner-style Essix retainers
  • Fixed retainers that are attached to the back of the teeth

Is retention really necessary?

Retention is necessary, and not following up with retention treatment after braces are removed can put your new smile in jeopardy. The teeth often try to shift and move back to their prior positions once your braces are removed. Although these shifts may not be substantial or happen all at once, the gradual change can affect the results.

How long will you have to wear a retainer?

Retention treatment can last for a long time, but each patient’s experience can vary. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may not need to wear a retainer at all hours of the day. For example, some patients only wear a retainer while they sleep or when they’re at home. Individuals that need long-term retention are typically best suited with a fixed retainer that cannot be removed.

Talk to a Skilled Columbia, SC Orthodontist for Further Advice

Orthodontic treatment can involve a series of steps to achieve the ideal smile alignment. Therefore, it is important to work with a qualified orthodontist in Columbia, SC to plan your treatment carefully from evaluation to post-braces retainers. Reach out to the team at Tompkins Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.


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