The Importance of Wearing Retainers after Treatment

by | Jun 17, 2018

Congratulations you have completed orthodontic treatment. Your braces have positioned and straightened your child’s teeth to ensure they have a lifetime of healthy smiles. Now it is time for the next phase of treatment which will keep those beautiful teeth in position – wearing a retainer. We will go into more detail on the importance of wearing retainers below. Keep in mind that when braces are removed, your teeth would want to move back to their original positions. Wearing retainers after orthodontic treatment will prevent this from happening.

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Here are answers from orthodontic treatment Southington experts to your most frequently asked questions about retainers:

Do I Have to Wear a Retainer?

Wearing retainers is a critical step in overall orthodontic treatment. Braces positioned the teeth, but the retainer will keep them in that position. A retainer holds teeth in their newly aligned place and prevents them from slipping back to their previous shape.

What are the Different Types of Retainers?

There are three main kinds of retainers. Your orthodontist will determine the best kind of your needs.

  • Removable: This is the most common type of retainer. It is made of colored acrylic, which the patient can choose, and wire.
  • Clear Overlay: This retainer is small and comfortable to wear. It contains no wire or metal and protects the teeth from grinding.
  • Bonded: This retainer is bonded or cemented to the inside of the lower front teeth. Special care must be taken when cleaning this appliance because it is permanently fixed to the teeth.

How Long Do I Need to Wear the Retainer?

Your orthodontist will advise you on how long you will need to wear the retainer. Retainers are generally worn all the time for the first six months after the braces are removed. After that, they are worn only at night for a few years. Some retainers may be worn all the time for only a week and then only at night after that. Bonded retainers are usually worn for about five years. Your orthodontist will give you a personalized time schedule for wearing your retainer.


What are the Risks if I Stop Wearing Retainers?

The risk of not wearing your retainer as the orthodontist had advised is that your perfectly aligned teeth will revert to their former condition. This may lead to a second application of braces and lengthen your overall time of orthodontic work.

How do I Take Care of My Retainer?

Removable retainers are simple to care for. When you are not wearing it, make sure to always store it in the plastic case it came with. Wrapping it in a napkin or laying it down somewhere increases the chances that you will accidentally throw it away or lose it.

  • Brush daily the retainers with toothpaste. This will get rid of plaque and eliminate odors. To clean your retainer, first, remove it, then brush and rinse with tap water. For patients who experience a dry mouth from wearing a retainer, using toothpaste that will moisten the inside of the mouth and relieve the dry sensation.
  • Damage and breaks occur even though retainers are sturdy. Avoid exposing your retainer to extreme heat such as leaving it on a car dashboard or placing it inside a microwave. Do not let it run through the washing machine and don’t carry it in a pocket or backpack unless it is in its plastic case.
  • Your retainer’s shape can warp, your orthodontist can adjust.

Are There Times When I Should not Wear my Retainer?

There are times when you should remove your retainer:

  • Always take out your retainer and place it in its plastic case when you are eating.
  • Remove your retainer before you go swimming. It can easily slip out and be lost while you are in the water.
  • Retainers should be taken out before engaging in any kind of contact sport. You will want to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth.

Will Wearing a Retainer Affect my Daily Life?

Getting used to a removable retainer and speaking properly takes a couple days. Most people also experience an excessive amount of saliva when wearing a new retainer. Your retainer may also be visible on your teeth, but much less so than braces.

Always keep your retainer case with you in case you need to take it out. You don’t want it to be misplaced or damaged. If you have a bonded retainer, you’ll need to spend plenty of time brushing your teeth around the wires to get them thoroughly cleaned.

Will my Teeth Change When I Stop Wearing the Retainer?

Bone has the potential to change and grow throughout our lives; that is why a broken bone can heal. Our teeth continue to push forward from the ages of 20 to 50. This may cause the lower front teeth to crowd regardless of previous orthodontic treatment. To avoid late crowding, your orthodontist may recommend you to wear your removable retainer at night for a longer period of time.

Bonded retainers remain for more than five years. Adult patients will generally need to sleep with their retainers in for the rest of their lives to keep their teeth in alignment. It is of utmost importance that retainers be worn for the entire prescribed period of time. Think of it as a promise you make to yourself to keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful.

The Experts

If you are in Southington and need advice on wearing retainers or any orthodontic care, contact Dr. Demas to schedule a consultation or an appointment. All of our patient-friendly staff at Team Demas Orthodontics will happily answer your questions. We encourage you to call our Southington office at 860-276-0333 or visit our website to read about our orthodontic treatments. You’ll also find all of our contact information, our blog, and games for kids.



Team Demas Orthodontics

27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Phone: 860-276-0333

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