Braces and other orthodontic appliances work to make changes in the way your child’s teeth fit in his mouth. They correct alignment issues and straighten crooked teeth. However, this process of dental correction does not end when the braces come off. The period afterward, when the mouth heals and teeth become fixed more firmly in place, is just as important for ensuring the long-term success of the orthodontic correction. The orthodontists at Smiles for Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics can help you and your child understand how to care for braces and retain straight teeth after they’ve come off. We’ll be happy to answer your questions throughout the process so you always know what to expect next!

The Stabilization Period

Orthodontic devices work by applying pressure to the teeth, slowly moving them into proper position and correcting alignment issues. Once the appliance has been removed, your child will enter the retention phase of treatment. During this phase, the teeth will be held in their new, corrected positions by a custom-made retainer fitted to the child’s mouth.

Orthodontic retainerThis step is important because it holds teeth in place long enough for their roots to strengthen and the gum and bone tissue to heal fully, affixing the teeth more permanently in place. Freshly-corrected teeth are vulnerable; failure to wear a retainer according to the orthodontist’s instructions can result in an inability to retain straight teeth and need for more orthodontic work.

Will the Results Be Permanent?

If your child follows the orthodontist’s instructions and wears the retainer as recommended, the results should be long-lasting. However, remember that teeth can always move, and aging and environmental factors can affect their placement over time. Additionally, proper oral hygiene is important throughout a person’s life to maintain a healthy smile.

The best way to retain straight teeth for a lifetime is to follow proper oral care and hygiene, including routine visits to the dentist. Contact Smiles for Kids today to learn more and start your child on the path toward a lifetime of great teeth and quality dental care!

Call for an appointment: 892.9010 for the West Side or 299.9606 for Northeast Heights.