Retainers After Braces

Posted On: November 1, 2016

Wearing retainers after braces is crucial in order to retain the teeth to the perfect alignment the braces created. Without proper wear of the retainers, teeth can go back to the original position. There are a couple of variations of retainers. One being an acrylic retainer with an adjustable wire that can move the teeth should the patient’s needs require it.  It only covers 2 surfaces of the teeth; which can allow for a little bit of shifting. Another type of retainer is a clear, plastic, 3-D retainer.  It covers all surfaces of the teeth; which prevents any shifting (if worn as instructed).  Some patients prefer this type as it can appear invisible on the teeth.  Patients should wear their retainers every night; basically for the rest of their lives.  There is not a set age where the teeth are ‘set’ in place.  Physics and natural aging will cause the body to change over time whether we like it or not.  In some unique cases, retainers should be worn day and night for several months and then proceeding with nights only thereafter.  Your orthodontist will determine what is best for your teeth and tell you exactly how long to wear the retainers.  -Billie Jo