Once you complete orthodontic treatment, it is important to keep your teeth in their new, proper position, making retainers an essential part of maintenance once your braces are off. Retainers are the best option available to help you maintain the teeth corrections gained during orthodontic treatment.
What Is A Retainer?
Retainers are custom made orthodontic devices created to keep your newly straightened and aligned teeth in their intended position.
Do I need Retainers?
Sometimes questions do not come with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, but when it comes to whether or not you will need a retainer, the answer is clear: Yes!
Teeth continue to move and shift throughout your life, making retainers a key step in preventing your teeth from returning to their pre-treatment position.
Nearly all patients will need to wear retainers for at least some time to ensure their newly aligned teeth maintain their position. Depending on the new position of your teeth, your retainers will either be removable or permanent. We will work closely with you to determine the ideal retainer solution for your needs.
What Are the Different Types of Retainers?
- Fixed Retainers – Fixed retainers use thin wires bonded behind the upper and/or lower teeth to keep teeth in their new position. Your orthodontist will determine how long the fixed retainers need to remain in place.
- Removable Retainers – Removable retainers can be made from a wire retainer made from moulded acrylic to fit the roof of the patient’s mouth to clear moulded mouth guards. These types of retainers must be taken out to eat or brush your teeth.
Retainers After Braces
While you wear braces, the gums and supporting ligaments are loose. Because your gums and ligaments remain loose once the braces are off, they need a certain amount of time to tighten back up. During this period, retainers play a crucial role in holding your teeth in their new position.
Permanent retainers remain in place until there is no longer a risk of teeth shifting out of place. Initially, removable retainers must be worn all day and all night aside from eating and brushing and flossing.
The number of hours you need to wear your removable retainers will be evaluated and adjusted over time until no new movement of your teeth is detected.
There is no one-size-fits-all schedule for retainer usage. Each individual will have a precise, personalised plan for how long they need to wear a retainer.
The Importance of Retainers
Each individual is unique and will experience changes in their jaw and teeth with age. This means it is key to have an experienced professional determine which type of retainer is ideal for maintaining your results.
Following the wearing schedule as recommended by your orthodontist will help you have straight teeth for a lifetime.
Do You Have More Questions About Retainers?
If you have additional questions on retainers, please feel free to reach out to our team. We will work with you to find the best retainer solution to maintain your healthy new smile.