Even though retainers are used after braces are removed, potential Orlando braces patients should still be well-educated on the purpose and function of retainers before they get their braces. Retainers are critical for keeping the teeth in place after braces have done their job, both short-term and long-term. When patients neglect their retainers, their teeth will more than likely shift back to their original positions – which translates to an enormous waste of time and money!


What Is a Retainer?

Orthodontic retainers are customized mouth pieces that are worn for certain periods of time after a patient’s braces are removed. Retainers are made for each Orlando braces patient the day that their braces are removed. The process uses a custom mold that fits snugly to the position of their perfect new smile. Wearing a retainer ensures that the teeth do not shift back into their original positions. Have more questions? Click here.

Types of Retainers

There are a few different types of retainers that braces patients can choose from. The most common retainers include Hawley retainers, Essix retainers, and permanent retainers. Hawley retainers are made from plastic with metal clasps that fit snugly around the teeth. Essix retainers are similar to Invisalign, as they are clear plastic trays that resemble mouth guards. Permanent retainers use wires that are fastened to the back of the teeth. Unlike Hawley or Essix retainers, permanent retainers cannot be removed on a daily basis.

Retainer Uses

There are two main uses for retainers after braces: immediately after the braces are removed and long-term use after the initial removal period. When braces are first removed, Orlando braces patients will need to wear their retainers “full-time” for a time period recommended by the orthodontist. This means that they should always be worn, except for when eating and cleaning the teeth. This full-time period typically lasts from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the patient’s orthodontic condition. After this period, orthodontists often recommend that patients continue to wear their retainer every night for as long as they want their teeth to stay straight – which is forever!

Importance of Retainers

We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing retainers. This is because when braces are initially removed, the ligaments and structures of the mouth have not yet set in place. If the braces patient does not wear a retainer, the teeth will shift back into their original positions. Shifting is not a possibility – it will definitely happen without a retainer! Even after the initial full-time wear period, the teeth may still slowly shift back over the course of the patient’s life. This is why long-term nightly retainer use is typically also recommended.

Want more info on retainers or want so schedule an appointment? Call 407-447-9060.