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As you know, your braces were designed to gradually realign your teeth using iterative adjustment sessions. Each tightening literally pulls your teeth one step closer to its ideal alignment.

The total duration of time depends on the severity of your malocclusion as well as how well you uphold your oral health and the integrity of the braces. Once your ideal alignment has been realized, your braces can be removed and you can enjoy your new smile.

However, you should know that there will still be some lingering tension remaining in the connective tissues in your dental sockets. If this isn’t countered in some way, the tension can gradually start to pull your teeth out of their ideal alignment once again. On occasion, patients who experience this may even need braces again.

To prevent these complications, Dr. Derick Phan will provide you with a retainer. This usually comes in the form of a Hawley unit that is custom-made to match the unique shape of your mouth, and which locks into place with wires that correspond to specific teeth.

As long as you use the retainer during the times that Dr. Derick Phan directs, it will prevent your teeth from coming out of alignment. Once the residual tension abates, you’ll be able to enjoy your new smile for the many years to come.

If you have had your teeth realigned with braces at Dr. Derick Phan’s San Jose, California clinic and you have a retainer question, you can always call 408.251.7901 to seek further advice from the staff at Phan Orthodontics.