The Importance of Wearing Retainers After Treatment

retainers
Getting your braces off is an exciting day for everyone who goes through the treatment. After months or years of having braces, they will finally be removed to reveal the straight smile you’ve been dreaming of. But treatment doesn’t end after the braces are off. While you may have the permanent fixtures removed from your mouth, you will probably still need to wear retainers to maintain your new straight smile that you’ve invested so much time – and money – into.

Why Do I Need a Retainer?

When you first get your braces off, your teeth may not be used to their new positioning. While they have spent so many years in their original place, they may be tempted to migrate back to where they started. Because you don’t want to keep your braces on until they are used to their new location, retainers act as a removable support system for keeping your smile straight.

The first month after you get your braces off will have the highest risk of what is known as “relapse.” Relapse refers to the movement of your teeth back into their original pre-braces position. Most people will need to wear their retainer at all times during this first month, although it can be removed for eating and cleaning.

After the first month, your teeth should be more used to their new homes and less likely to try and move back. Even so, there is still a strong chance of relapse during your first year.

How Often Do I Need to Wear My Retainer?

The amount that you will need to wear your retainer will depend on the retainer kind and the state of your teeth before your braces. If your teeth did not need to move much, then you may spend less time with your retainer.

For the most part, all individuals will need to wear their retainer full time for at least one month. In most circumstances, six months of full time wear is recommended. Then possible for a couple years after that, the retainer will only need to be worn at night.

If you got braces as an adult, you may be required to wear your retainer more often. Because aging can change the shape of your mouth and face, your teeth may be tempted to move as well. A permanent retainer may be recommended, or you may need to wear your retainer at night for years to come.

The amount that you will need to wear your retainer will be determined by your orthodontist. Through a plan that he or she creates for you, you can ensure that your teeth stay in their new, straight position.

What Does My Retainer Look Like?

Your retainer will be custom made to fit your teeth perfectly after your braces come off. While you may feel a bit of tightness while wearing your retainer, this is just to ensure that your teeth do not have space to move. The kind of retainer that you have will depend on your needs, the likelihood that your teeth will try to move, and your age.

If your teeth have a high chance of moving, your orthodontist may recommend using a permanent retainer. Rather than a removable item, a permanent retainer is a piece of metal that is fused to the back of your teeth. Some individuals will need to have this permanent retainer for the rest of their lives. Others may have it removed after a few years.


The most common kind of retainer will be made of acrylic and metal. The metal is specially fit to go around the teeth while the acrylic piece rests on the top of your mouth. Another kind of retainer is made of clear plastic and resembles an Invisalign tray. These retainers may be used more often if you need to wear the piece full time, but they are usually more expensive than the standard metal and acrylic retainers.

Why is My Retainer Important?

A retainer keeps all the hard work of you, your orthodontist, and your braces in place. While you may believe that your straight smile is here to stay, in a few years you may be back to where you started if you don’t take care of your teeth.

It is natural for our teeth to want to return to their starting position after the braces come off. If you should ignore your smile and fail to use your retainer properly, you may find that your smile is the same as it was before your braces went on – making you feel as if you’ve wasted your time and money going through the treatment of having braces.

It is important that you follow the instructions on wearing and maintaining your retainer as given to you by your orthodontist. By following your orthodontist’s instructions, you can ensure that the smile you’ve worked so hard to get is here to stay.

Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

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14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585
https://drpapandreas.com/

The Importance of Wearing Retainers After Treatment

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