Your braces are finally coming off, and you can’t wait to show your new, straight teeth to everyone. But, the orthodontic treatment hasn’t come to an end. After taking off the braces, you need to put on a retainer to make sure the teeth stay in the new positions. Let us learn more about what are retainers and how they benefit you.

2 Types of Retainers


  1. Removable Retainers
  2. This is generally a combination of a wire that goes across the front of the upper and lower teeth. It is attached to an acrylic material and hooks that you can insert in and around the teeth to hold it in place. The wires of the removable retainers can be adjusted to continue the slight movement of the teeth if it is required.

  3. Fixed Retainers
  4. These consist of a thin wire that is bonded behind the bottom or front teeth, or both. Since this wire stretches across several teeth, brushing and flossing will be similar to teeth braces care. Use a floss threader to access the interproximal spaces between the teeth.

    Fixed retainers have the best outcome as the bonded wire can hold the newly straight teeth in the ideal alignment over a long period.

Why Is It Important to Use Retainer After Braces?


  1. The Bite Needs to be Stabilized
  2. After the braces are removed, the bone and soft tissues will need time to adapt to the changes made in the tooth positioning. The retainers help in stabilizing teeth in a new arrangement and ensures that the shifting or relapse of teeth is minimal.

    Wear retainer braces for at least 12-22 hours every day for at least two months to prevent relapse of the teeth.

  3. Right Spacing for Wisdom Teeth
  4. Dental braces are common in teenagers and preteens. As their bodies are still developing, they would have to use the retainers around the time when their wisdom teeth erupt.

    By using the retainers as instructed, the teens can maintain the space required in their jaw to accommodate the wisdom teeth. Regular use of retainers makes sure that the teeth do not crowd or shift due to a lack of space.

  5. To Hold Teeth in New Positions
  6. If you got dental braces to fix gaps in the teeth, severely misaligned teeth or overbite and underbite, it would take a long time to stabilize. Therefore, it is important to hold the teeth in place even after the braces are removed.

    Orthodontic retainers will help in doing that and ensure that the teeth are repositioned firmly in their new spaces till the mouth can adapt to the changes.

  7. To Avoid Treatment Reversal
  8. The teeth will tend to move back into their old positions in the months after the braces are removed.

    It is possible to prevent this teeth reversal by using the teeth retainers. It is a good idea to wear the retainers for a few months after the dental braces are removed.

  9. Helps with Speech Impediments
  10. If you have difficulty saying certain words due to the placement of teeth, a retainer can help in forming the sounds correctly. They can also correct a speech impediment called tongue thrust where the tongue finds its way through the teeth when you talk. You can use a special retainer called a tongue cage to prevent this. It will further guide the mouth with the correct pronunciation.

    If you need to put a retainer, contact a family orthodontist at Koch Orthodontics. We will help you choose the right retainer to make sure the treatment proceeds as planned.