Experience has taught something very important to Dr. Avila. It is a system for how you should wear retainers. In the 1970's Orthodontists believed that once your teeth were positioned using braces, your teeth were in their optimal position and your lips, tongue and teeth would work together to keep your teeth in their optimal position. Guess what? They were wrong! Your teeth are moving continuously. As soon as you stop wearing your retainers (a selfie of your teeth when your braces were removed), your teeth begin moving at a rate of .5 millimeter (mm) per year. Half of a mm is not very much, but multiply .5mm by 10 years, 5mm is noticeable crowding.
Here is what Dr. Avila has learned after watching his patients for over 20 years. Keeping your teeth straight takes three steps. STEP 1-for 6 months wear retainers all of the time. There is one exception along with one rule - ask Dr. Avila about it (hint: only FACE or CASE). STEP 2-after six months, for 12 months or more wear retainers every night (hint: NIGHT not DAY). STEP 3-after the 12 months, for the REST of your life, wear retainers two nights per week and more often if you feel the retainers to be tight.
If you lose, break, or damage your retainers, do not wait. Call to schedule an appointment immediately, so that new retainers can be made to prevent any teeth movement!
That is it for keeping your teeth straight -- three steps -- and replace retainers quickly.