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Protect Your Orthodontic Efforts: Maintaining Teeth Alignment

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Our dedicated orthodontists, Dr. Jeffrey Shirck, Dr. Soorya Srinivasan and Dr. Betina Grehs-Porto understand how powerful of an asset a beautiful smile is. It boosts your confidence, enhances your appearance and contributes to a healthy oral environment. However, achieving and maintaining that perfect smile often requires a journey through orthodontic treatment. Understanding how teeth change as we develop, how orthodontic treatment corrects misalignments and the importance of post-treatment care are crucial steps in ensuring your aligned teeth stay put for the long haul.

The Evolution of Our Smile

From childhood to adulthood, our teeth undergo significant changes. Primary teeth make way for permanent ones, and as we grow, our jaw expands, and teeth can shift due to various factors including genetics, habits and the natural aging process. These shifts can lead to misalignment, overcrowding and bite issues, affecting not just aesthetics but also oral health and function.

The Role of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is designed to address these issues, using braces, aligners and other appliances to apply gentle pressure over time. This pressure guides teeth into their optimal positions, correcting misalignments and improving both the function and appearance of your smile. The orthodontic treatment process is meticulously planned, taking into account the unique structure of your mouth and jaw.

Once the active phase of orthodontic treatment concludes, there is a crucial “settling in” period. During this time, your teeth adjust to their new positions. As you bite, chew, swallow and speak, minor shifts can occur. This is a normal part of the process, allowing your teeth to find their natural equilibrium in alignment with the surrounding bone and gum tissue.

Preserving Your New Smile

The key to maintaining the results of your orthodontic treatment lies in the diligent use of retainer wear. Retainers are custom-crafted oral devices specifically designed to hold your teeth in place post-treatment. Without them, teeth can gradually drift back towards their original positions, a phenomenon known as relapse.

1-Hawley Retainers: These retainers are comprised of a metal wire that surrounds the teeth and is anchored in an acrylic base that sits on the roof of the mouth. Hawley retainers are durable and adjustable, allowing for minor corrections post-treatment.

2-Clear Retainers: These are transparent, removable retainers that fit snugly over the entire arch of your teeth. They are less noticeable than Hawley retainers and are popular for their aesthetic appeal. However, they need to be replaced periodically as they can wear out or lose their shape.

3-Fixed/Permanent Retainers: These consist of a thin wire bonded directly to the back of the front teeth. They are invisible from the outside and are an excellent option for individuals who might not remember to wear a removable retainer regularly. Despite their name, fixed retainers may need replacement or adjustment over time.

As you can see, retainers play a pivotal role in stabilizing your teeth after having orthodontic treatment, effectively ensuring the longevity of your smile’s alignment. But remember, their effectiveness relies on consistent wear according to our orthodontist’s recommendations.

The Path to a Lasting Smile

Achieving a perfect smile is a significant investment in your oral health and overall well-being. To reap the full benefits of this investment, it’s essential to follow through with the entire orthodontic process, including the critical post-treatment phase. Quality orthodontic treatment and diligent aftercare, including proper retainer use, are your best allies in preserving the smile you’ve worked so hard to attain, ensuring it remains vibrant, healthy and stable for years to come.

We Are the Orthodontist Near You

If you are looking to straighten your teeth, or your child’s, please contact Shirck Orthodontics to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Dr. Jeff, Dr. Soo and Dr. Betina offer exceptional quality orthodontic treatments for healthier, more beautiful smiles. We have convenient locations near you in Powell, Newark, Westerville, New Albany and Pataskala, Ohio.