Wearing Your Retainers after orthodontic treatment

Once your case is completed successfully, you must wear your retainers as instructed. Retainers are custom made for you and will help to keep your teeth in their newly corrected positions.

It can take several months for your new smile to stabilize. You may have to wear your retainers 24/7 during the first months after finishing your treatment. You can take them out when you’re eating or drinking. Eventually, you can transition to wearing them when you sleep at night.

We cannot stress enough that retainers are a very important part of your treatment. In order to keep your smile at its best for the long term, retainers must be worn consistently – if not, there is a good chance that your teeth may relapse and lose the corrections that were made. If your retainers are lost or damaged, it is your personal responsibility to contact us immediately to have a replacement made.


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  • What Are Retainers and How Do They Work?

Retainer pre-formed devices that fit in the mouth and rest behind and in front of the teeth to help with realignment. Each retainer is custom fitted to the specific patient and is typically made up of wires and plastic. Retainers are designed to put gentle force on the individual’s teeth to support gradual realignment and are used as a form of maintenance after braces are removed to ensure teeth do not immediately begin shifting after the initial correction.

  • How Are Retainers Made?

The design of a retainer is completely customized to the wearer. Dentist used to take an impression of the patient’s mouth which was then put into a plaster mold to create an original piece. Once the retainer itself is constructed, wires are fitted with acrylic and run-in line with the retainer to allow it to grasp the teeth and hold them into place.

There are different types of retainers that a patient can consider wearing.

Different Types of Retainers

  • Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainers are typically the most common retainers used today. They use metal wires around the base of the retainer that can be adjusted as necessary to keep the teeth adequately aligned.

  • Essix Retainers

Essix retainers are becoming increasingly popular as they can be made with transparent materials that are considerably less noticeable. They are made with high-performance shaping plastic that completely covers the teeth and can last up to 24 months.

  • Fixed Retainers

For semi-permanent solutions, fixed retainers can help to address more severe alignment issues and rest on the inner side of the teeth. Once the retainer is appropriately situated, it is bonded to the teeth and is designed to stay in the mouth, eliminating the possibility of the retainer not being worn enough to be effective.

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  • How to Care for Your Retainer Properly

Since most retainers are in and out of patient’s mouths regularly, it’s essential they are regularly cared for properly . Much like contact lenses, retainers should always be cleaned before they are used again. Using a toothbrush with mild dish soap and warm water is sufficient enough to clean the retainer. Certain types of toothpaste may be too abrasive and damage it. When not being used, retainers can be kept in their storage cases to stay protected and prevent them from getting dirty.

Once your retainer is made for you, it is important to wear it and care for it according to your orthodontist’s instructions. Otherwise, you may lose that perfect smile you worked so hard to achieve.

If you’d like to learn about the cost of retainers on which retainer is best for you, call us or text us to schedule your free consultation today.


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2706 N University Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065