Why Is Wearing Retainers Essential After Braces Treatment?

Why Is Wearing Retainers Essential After Braces Treatment?

A braces treatment is a long but rewarding process, especially for individuals who care about their smile. The process typically takes around 18 to 24 months to complete. However, the work is not done after removing your braces and you will need to wear retainers long term following the treatment. Retainers are not optional and are crucial in maintaining the alignment and structure of your teeth. Let us understand what retainers are and why you must wear them after your braces treatment.


What are retainers?


Retainers can be made from plastic or metal and help keep teeth aligned after a patient has completed their orthodontic treatment with invisible teeth aligners or metal dental braces. They help apply the pressure needed to prevent the teeth from returning to their original positions, retaining the teeth’s structure in place.


What are some types of retainers?


There are two main types of retainers that patients are encouraged to wear:

Essix retainers

These type of retainers have a similar look and design to Invisalign aligners. They are meant to fit all over the teeth and are clear, so it is not as noticeable. They provide an all round retention surrounding the teeth which help keep teeth in position.

Hawley retainers

These retainers are commonly worn among patients of orthodontic treatment. It contains a piece of acrylic which is shaped to lie on the top of the mouth or at the base of the tongue and has a wire that goes around the outside of the teeth to keep them structured. These are the choice option for patients who grind their teeth while sleeping.


Why should you wear retainers?


Dental braces alter the teeth, jawbone, and soft tissues such as gum and cheeks. Once braces have been removed, they can no longer support the teeth, and they tend to return to their original position or state. This is due to the elastic nature of the gum tissue and relapse can be reduced by wearing retainers conscientiously.

Therefore, retainers are there to prolong the effects of the braces treatment and support the changes to the teeth once the braces are removed. Patients must wear them regularly to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original positions.


How long do you need to wear your retainers?


It is advised to wear retainers full day for at least 6 to 12 months after a braces are removed, followed by a long term night time regime, to ensure minimal no dental relapse. They must be worn at all times but can be removed whenever you eat, brush your teeth, or play contact sports. When your teeth have stabilised after a few months, you can switch to wear it only at night. Regardless of duration, we will still recommend that you continue to wear them to bed every night prolong the effects of the treatment.




Here at The Braces Practice, we have a friendly team of dentist to advise you on which retainers you should use and how to use them. Get in touch with us through a call or book an appointment to visit us at our dental clinics. You can also find out more about our special prices for student braces. If you have lost your retainers or find that they do not fit you anymore due to teeth misalignments, you can also schedule an appointment with us so our dentist can make a new set of retainers to support your teeth better.

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