Dental retainers are sometimes used as a follow up mode of treatment for persons who have worn braces for an extended period of time. With this application, the dental retainers are employed as means of reinforcing the process of realigning the teeth into permanent positions. This process was begun with the braces, but the use of dental retainers helps to complete the final stage of the procedure. Because dental retainers are often made of casts that fit snugly over the teeth, they help to keep the teeth in line after the braces have been removed, allowing more time for the slight gaps between the teeth to settle into a more natural configuration. In some cases, dental retainers of this type are worn during the night, but not required during the daytime.

Another application of dental retainers has to do with helping to correct an underbite or overbite. Along with helping to align individual teeth properly, dental retainers designed for this purpose also help to bring the two rows of teeth move into a natural alignment. Normally, dental retainers of this type are worn around the clock, at least for a period of time.

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