Wearing a Retainer After Braces

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There’s a lot of things that we may not like to do, using a retainer could be one of them.

Make somethings being part of our regular habits could be not so quickly.


I know that, because I usually forget to drink the recommended amounts of water a day for example or I forget to eat fruits every day, that kind of stuff.

And that’s when it comes to simple matters, now imagine that you need to do stuff related to health.

I’m not saying that you forget to take your daily bath or take your vitamins, and I’m talking about you wearing a retainer after your braces removed.

You teeth have memory, so they are going to remember where they were before your braces.

That is basically the importance of using a retainer, that’s why your orthodontist will encourage to use it.

Yes, it can be a thing that may not like us, but still is crucial to continuing the maintenance of your treatment.

You thought perhaps that after your braces were removed, all the visits to your dentist ended.

Unfortunately for you, the visits don’t stop there; you need to keep your treatment because after braces you must take care of your teeth anyway to keep them in good shape.

Why should I Wear the Retainer?


Your teeth are straight after your braces treatment but aren’t finished yet.

As I was saying previously, teeth have memory. They may return to their original position if you skip using your retainer.

Here’s what it works, the retainers are this little thing that goes into your mouth and usually are made of wires or clear plastic that hold our teeth after having our realign process.

You might think that after the braces you don’t have chances to have your old smile again.

But there remains a lifelong risk of relapse or tendency for our teeth to return to the original position (the memory thing I just said) and this can be due to a number of factors.

Those can be recoil of periodontal fibers, pressure from surrounding soft tissues, the occlusion and patient’s continued growth and development.

So, if you think it was over, there’s not such a thing.

But don’t be afraid of anything, yes some people could see this as an issue or an uncomfortable matter, but is not.

Once you use it is the simplest thing to follow, just give your teeth the chance to adapt their new position in your mouth bones for a length of time.

This can be pretty useful because it can help to reduce any changes to the final tooth position after you completed your braces treatment.

What Types of Retainers are?

Maybe you still have on your braces, but one day in the not-too-distant future your dental braces will come off, and then another phase will begin.

And you will be unable to skip it if you really want to maintain your straight new smile.

Embrace yourself cause some retainers must be used several years, some of them need to be worn part-time maybe only at night.

Are several types of retainers and the most common thing to happen is that your orthodontic dentist prescript you one.

Hawley Retainer

Hawley Retainer

There’s one called the Hawley retainer, which I think is a little uncomfortable cause is one tinny artifact made of bendable wire and acrylic or plastic.

And the wire goes across the front of your teeth, and the acrylic or plastic is design to fit in your mouth.

Can you imagine take in and out when you are about to have your lunch or something?

Imagine that, it may look like an embarrassing thing to do or uncomfortable if you prefer.

But it is necessary so you keep in mind that is for your self-care and that the Hawley Retainer comes in some many colors that you can combine with your clothes.

With this, I’m telling you that the Hawley Retainer type will show and people will be able to see it.

Don’t feel embarrassed about this.

Hawley type of retainer is the most popular and often you will only see a little piece of metal running along the front or back of your teeth and maybe some color.

Clear Plastic Retainer   

Clear Plastic Retainer  

This is one of my favorites because I used one of this when my braces came off; you can notice the sarcasm.

It can turn into a nightmare but you definitely can handle this plastic mini guard inside your mouth.

You use it due to the time you must have it in your mouth.

With this type of retainer, you should wear it at least 12-14 hours a day. Sounds great, right? (Sarcasm again).

Don’t worry, as I said you use it, and then you take it at some point like something like is part of you or your mouth.

You can even feel something is missing if you don’t need to wear anymore and I know that’s weird, but it happens to me.

Again like the Hawley Retainer, this kind of retainer will help you to keep your teeth in their new current position.

And is an individual design just made it for you and at first can be a little tight but with time it will fit just fine.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed Retainers

To people this is the less favorite retainer; it’s a tiny wire that is placed (glued) in the back of the lower or upper front teeth.

I personally think that this kind of retainer is the best one since you don’t need to take it our every time you eat.

It’s placed or bonded to your mouth, and yes it may be hard to keep it clean but is comfortable to wear, and no one will notice.

They are invisible, and they aren’t removable.

It may remain in place for months, or longer.

The Fixed Retainer type is sometimes recommended when there’s a high risk that teeth could revert to their former position.

This kind of retainer will cause some troubles to floss your teeth, they are regularly glued to the four or six teeth on the back which can be an issue sometimes when you are cleaning your teeth.

How Long Should I Wear my Retainer?


Sometimes we think in short lapses of time to use our retainer, but the truth is that only your dentist can tell you for how long you need to wear it.

That maybe doesn’t sound like a great idea, but certainly, there’s a reason to use a retainer after our braces treatment.

The time as I was saying can varies from person to person due to their needs and kind of treatment.

Maybe you must use it only for a couple of months, possibly at night only or perhaps you are going to need it for years.

You never know, the good news is that you are going to enjoy a brand new smile.

It is important to keep in mind that using a retainer might look like a thing you don’t want to wear.

Maybe you are thinking that you forget sometimes feed your dog or cat and then definitely you are going to forget wearing the retainer.

Like I said, you can use it.

Plus, as the teeth are moved to the new positions, the bone and the periodontal ligaments and surrounding muscles require a significant period of time to reach a new state of equilibrium.

In other words, adapt to the new position and that can take some time, months or even years, and in some cases, lifelong.

When I say lifelong it is not my intention to scare you, but it happens and you must know it.

But as I said the lapse of time will be determinate by your dentist and the most thing to happen is that you need to use one retainer only for a couple of months or years.

How can I take Care of My Retainer?

Like I said, you probably think that for you it’s too difficult to consider the use of the retainer (although it is not something you do by choice).

Because you forget usually stuff to feed your dog or cat, and that’s due maybe to the busy life we have. Also, we certainly forget to do stuff like eat healthily or drink water.

But some patients forget where they left their retainers.

Yes, they just lost it, vanish. When this happens, you will need to talk to your dentist because you definitely will need a new one.

That can take some time depending on what type of retainer your dentist prescribed you.

Obviously, you don’t have to worry if your retainer was the permanent type or the glued kind.

You are worried if your retainer is removable, cause we put it out to eat and sometimes, to talk.

You can consider some tricks to take care of it and don’t lose it.

First of all, you need a retainer carrier, I mean they usually came with one model to keep it safe while eating or talking or anything.

But also I have seen persons that use a napkin to hold their retainers; personally, I do not recommend this way to maintain it safe I recommend to get a container.

Cleaning the Retainer

This is a special point cause like I said some retainers like the glued one can cause some issues at the time of the cleaning of your teeth.

Because they are bonded to the teeth which make the cleaning so hard sometimes.

But you can clean your retainers, either type, using a soft brush after meals or after used it all day or all night, but you need to do it at least once a day.

Do not brush your teeth while you are using your retainer, and this is important some people do it and it can damage your retainer.

At some point, the damage can need the replacement of the artifact and that cost money, also if you lose it you can say goodbye to a couple of dollars too.

Keep it Away from the Heat

If you like to have your coffee super-hot, you must take off your retainer.

Some materials can be compromised by the heat exposure; not all of them but several quantities.

Taking care of your braces retainer is part of having good health because dirt on it may bring bacteria into your mouth.

So make sure that you are properly cleaning your retainer.

Some people also soak the braces retainer in order to keep it clean in addition to properly brush it.

It is not the most difficult thing in the world, you can do it; keep it clean.

Wear your Retainer

If your dentist already gives you a prescribed retainer, use it.

There’s no point in having it if you don’t use it because you have for a strong reason.

Don’t lose it, brush it with a soft brush and keep it inside the special container when you are no using it.

Having braces is a whole process, some people have them for a while now, maybe years.

So when you tell them that they must use a little artifact when they braces treatment is done, not all people take this well.

A lot of patients do not accept the recommendation and completely ignore keeping on with the post braces process.

You focus on one thing, your smile and all the money and time it takes you to achieve your brand new smile.

Because it takes a lot of time, visits to the dentist, skip work to see him and definitely you don’t want to feel like it was a complete waste of your time and money.

You keep this in mind next time you forget using your retainer.

Like I said to you at the beginning of this post, have some habits may look difficult at first.

Like going to the gym, eat healthily or read a book occasionally, but if you do it for some time it turns easier at the time goes by.

So, the advice from Serena Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is that you must follow the rules to achieve better results. If you have questions, please call us or stop by.

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