The last thing the patient and dentist want to see is teeth relapse after the painstaking process of orthodontic treatment. How long do you have to wear a retainer to keep the teeth aligned at all times? Dean of Dr. Rabbit Dental Clinic Stephen Chang says the longer the better because the tooth root and bone is not stable yet after treatment. Wearing a retainer for as long as possible can consolidate the bonding between the tooth root and the surrounding bone.
There has been a lot of medical research on how long a retainer should be worn. Stephen Chang suggests wearing it every day after orthodontic treatment. If you can’t wear it during the day, at least wear it when your sleep. After 5 years, it is ok to wear it every 2 or 3 days. If your teeth feel tight when wearing the retainer, you may need to replace it with a new one.
Some people wonder why their teeth still shift slightly and are not as perfect as they are the day their braces are removed even though they wear the retainer every day.（GAPS BETWEEN TEETH BIGGER AND BLACK TRIANGLES APPEARING AFTER ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT? STEPHEN CHANG: IMPROVING BY THE INTERPROXIMAL REDUCTION AND PORCELAIN VENEERS WOULD BE THE BEST CHOICE）
“Chewing, biting, gum recession, alveolar bone loss, or changes in muscle mass may affect the stability of teeth”, says Stephen Chang who have performed Invisalign on more than 100 patients. He found that the longer the treatment is, the more stable the teeth become and thus less likely to relapse.
The way teeth are moved during treatment also affects the speed the dentition changes. For example, due to a lack of space on the gum, a patient’s two teeth ended up growing side by side. It took Stephen Chang 22 months to adjust the space between the teeth and use torque to move the two teeth to the right positions.
As a dentist in practice for years, Stephen Chang constantly gives speeches at National Taiwan University Hospital’s Orthodontic and Dentofacial Orthopedic Division to share his clinical experience with doctors and research students. He says Invisalign moves teeth around with special techniques to keep the dental midline in place without removing healthy teeth. With traditional techniques which require removing some teeth, the dental midline may shift and lead to facial asymmetry.
Stephen Chang stresses the importance of taking misplaced dental midline seriously because it may result in mouth droop and deepen nasolabial folds, especially for women over the age of 35. In addition, tooth loss or biting problems will cause facial asymmetry.（What is the best age to start orthodontic treatment? Stephen Chang: 7 to 10 years old!）
It is important to keep an eye on the health of the teeth after orthodontic treatment, otherwise all the past efforts will be in vain. Stephen Chang suggests patients make regular dental visits to check their periodontal conditions and replace their plastic retainers once a year to reduce the bacteria on the retainer and maintain oral hygiene.
Bad breath is usually caused by the food debris left in the teeth. Therefore, Stephen Chang provides a simple tip: when brushing your teeth, use dental floss to clean the gap between the teeth when there is still toothpaste in the mouth. With this technique, you can clean your mouth thoroughly and efficiently. For more information on taking care of your teeth after orthodontic treatment, please go to https://drrabbit.com.tw/.