Why Retainers After Braces are Important to Wear

You need to wear retainers after braces for several reasons. Do you know what those are? If not, read this article to learn more!

February 28, 2023

Why Retainers After Braces are Important to Wear

You've finally finished your orthodontic treatment — congratulations! After your hard work, you can now enjoy a beautiful smile and improved dental health. But the journey isn't over just yet — retainer wear is essential to maintaining those straight teeth and that gorgeous smile.


Braces retainers keep your teeth in their new positions after braces have been removed. Without proper retention following orthodontic treatment, there is a risk that your teeth could slowly move back into their original place or develop other problems, such as crowding or an abnormal bite. Retainer wear also helps you get used to having straighter teeth while also helping prevent gum recession and gingival irritation that can occur if the teeth shift around too much.


Keep reading this article to learn everything you need to know about wearing retainers after braces, including why they are crucial to your health.


What is a Retainer, and Do I Need One?

A retainer is a custom-made orthodontic appliance that keeps teeth in their new, straightened position after removing braces. It's made of a flexible plastic material and looks like a mouthguard with wires that trace the length of your teeth. Retainers can be removable or fixed (bonded to the backs of your front teeth).


Most patients undergoing orthodontic treatment must wear a retainer for at least six months before transitioning into occasional use. The amount of time you will need to wear it depends on your situation, but in general, You should wear your retainers as often as possible during the first few months after braces are removed.


Types of Retainers After Braces

There are several types of retainers after braces you can use. They include traditional removable retainers, Aligner-style/Essix retainers, fixed retainers and custom retainers after braces.


Traditional removable retainers

Traditional removal retainers are the most common type and are custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly. They contain a thin wire around each tooth, holding them in place.


Aligner-style/Essix retainers

Aligner-style/Essix retainers look similar to Invisalign trays and are made from a transparent plastic material that is virtually invisible while worn. They fit snugly over the entire arch of teeth and can be removed for cleaning and eating.


Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers are attached to the back surface of the teeth with dental cement or brackets and wires and are not removable. This type of retainer does not require special care other than regular brushing and flossing, but avoiding sticky or hard foods that could damage the appliance is essential.


Custom retainers after braces

Custom retainers are made for individual patients and can be removable or fixed, depending on a patient's needs. You can also use them to correct minor orthodontic issues such as tooth rotation, crossbite, spacing or other problems. Custom retainers are generally more expensive than traditional retainers but offer the most precise fit and results.


Retainers After Braces: Price

"How much do retainers cost?" You probably ask this question if you have just finished your orthodontic treatment. The cost of retainers after braces will vary depending on what type you choose and whether or not you need a custom retainer. It also depends on where you live. If you are concerned about the cost of a retainer, talk to your orthodontist about payment plans or other options that may be available.


Can you Eat with Retainers After Braces?

You might also want to know, "Can you eat with retainers after braces?" The answer is yes, you can eat with retainers. Most kinds of removable retainers allow for easy removal when eating meals. 


Fixed retainers may require more care and attention since you cannot remove them. If you have fixed retainers, avoiding hard or sticky foods that could damage the appliance is essential.


Can I Buy Retainers After Braces Online?

You can purchase retainers after braces online, depending on the place you look. However, it is critical to remember that retainers should be custom-made by your orthodontist for the most effective results. Custom retainers ensure that the retainer fits correctly and does not cause any damage to your teeth or gums.


However, you can purchase a generic retainer or mouthguard online. These are not designed to keep your teeth in place, but they can help protect them from grinding or clenching. Talk to your orthodontist about the best option for you.


Why Do My Retainers After Braces Hurt?

If your retainers after braces hurt, it is likely due to an issue with the fit. Your retainer must fit correctly to ensure comfort and prevent damage to your teeth or gums. If you feel discomfort when wearing your retainer, contact your orthodontist immediately. They will be able to adjust the fit so you can wear it comfortably.


Not wearing your retainer after braces can also affect how your retainers will fit (or even if they will fit at all). Your teeth can shift fast, so make sure you always wear your retainers when you are told to by your orthodontist.

Caring for Your Retainers After Braces

Proper care of a retainer is essential for it to work correctly and last as long as possible. Removable retainers should be cleaned daily with warm water and toothpaste, then stored in a case when not being worn. Fixed retainers should be brushed and flossed daily like your regular teeth. It is important to avoid sticky or hard foods that could damage the appliance.


Retainers are essential to maintain the results of orthodontic treatment. They help hold your teeth in place and prevent them from shifting back into their original positions.


Retainers come in several different types and vary in cost. Be sure to talk to your orthodontist about which type is best for you, and follow the instructions carefully when caring for your retainer to ensure it lasts as long as possible. With proper use and care, a retainer can last anywhere from one year to five years or more!


If you're in the Clawson, Michigan, area and need orthodontic care, don't hesitate to schedule your smile assessment with Bruno Orthodontics! Our doctor, Dr. Richard Bruno, DDS, is a board-certified expert orthodontist.

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730 N. Crooks Rd. Clawson, MI 48017

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