Retainers are custom-made orthodontic devices, usually made of metal or clear plastic.
What are Retainers?
Retainers are custom-made orthodontic devices, usually made of metal or clear plastic. This dental device holds teeth in position after surgery or they are used to hold teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. Some retainers are removable, and some are fixed on the back of the teeth, there are three main types of retainers:
This retainer is attached to your teeth after your orthodontic treatment is completed. This will keep your teeth in place for the first few crucial months after your treatment. We recommend a bonded retainer if you need to wear a retainer at all times as a follow up to orthodontic treatment.
Hawley retainers, also known as wire retainers, can be taken out for eating and cleaning teeth. Having a removable retainer doesn’t make your follow up treatment any less important however, and you still need to wear the retainer as instructed by your orthodontist.
Clear Plastic Retainer
This is a removable retainer that is moulded to perfectly fit your newly positioned teeth. Clear retainers are extremely popular because they’re virtually invisible, this makes them more likely to be worn! This retainer shouldn’t be confused with clear aligners, this just retains the position of your teeth and prevents them from moving out of place.
How long do you need to wear your retainer?
In order to maintain a straight smile for life, you’ll have to wear a retainer nightly for life. After some time you may not need the retainer as often, but it is recommended to wear retainers to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. It is possible to still maintain your newly straight smile without having a fixed wire, it just means you need to be really good at remembering to wear your retainer properly!
If you have a bonded retainer, you will be wearing that all day and all night. If your orthodontist has given you a removable retainer, the rules are slightly different. Depending on your specific post-treatment needs you may receive different instructions to others, so make sure you follow what your orthodontist has advised.
Retainers in Rowville and Narre Warren South, Victoria
When you come into our practices, the team at Crown Dental Group aim to ensure you feel comfortable and fully assured with your treatment and the processes involved. We want to help you achieve the smile of your dreams, whilst maintaining healthy oral practices.
If you’re ready to book your appointment with Crown Dental Group or wish to make an enquiry, contact our team today.
What will happen if I stop wearing my retainer?
If you stop wearing your retainer, several things can happen:
1. Teeth shifting: Your teeth may gradually start shifting back to their original positions or
move into undesirable positions. This can undo the progress made during your
2. Bite changes: Without the support of a retainer, your bite alignment may be
compromised. This can lead to issues such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, which
may require additional orthodontic treatment to correct.
3. Discomfort and pain: When teeth shift, it can cause discomfort and pain as they adjust to
new positions. This can affect your ability to bite, chew, and speak comfortably.
4. Difficulty with dental work: If you need any dental work in the future, such as fillings,
crowns, or bridges, the changes in tooth alignment caused by not wearing your retainer
may complicate these procedures.
It’s important to follow your dentist’s or orthodontist’s advice regarding retainer wear to maintain
the results of your orthodontic treatment and prevent any potential complications.
Do I have to wear a retainer forever?
The duration of wearing a retainer varies depending on individual circumstances and the
recommendation of your dentist or orthodontist. In most cases, wearing a retainer is not a
lifelong commitment, but it is typically required for an extended period after orthodontic
treatment. Initially, the retainer is worn more frequently, gradually transitioning to nighttime wear
However, it’s important to note that teeth have a tendency to shift naturally over time, even after
orthodontic treatment. To prevent significant changes, some individuals may be advised to wear
a retainer on a long-term basis, albeit with reduced frequency. Your dentist or orthodontist will
provide specific instructions based on your unique situation and help determine how long you
should wear a retainer to maintain the desired results.
How do I clean my retainer?
To clean your retainer, rinse it with water, brush gently using a soft toothbrush and mild soap or
toothpaste, soak it in a cleansing solution, and store it in a clean, dry case when not in use.