Orthodontic Retainers are customized devices composed of wires or, more recently, transparent plastic. This orthodontic equipment is used to avoid relapse/return of symptoms of the initial malocclusion after treatment. Retainers, either removable or fixed, are meant to maintain teeth in place as a follow-up to dental alignment therapy.


These trim pieces are of plastic or metal custom-made to fit each individual. There are no two retainers that are the same but are designed to fit the form of your mouth and the alignment of your teeth.


Retainers are an essential aspect of the teeth straightening procedure because they keep the teeth from shifting away from their newly corrected position and returning to their previous misalignment. Retainers dramatically lower the possibility of previously repaired teeth going misaligned again.




"It's not over till it's over," as the saying goes, especially true for orthodontic treatment. Even after successfully finishing orthodontic treatment, the difficult challenge of keeping the teeth in their proper alignment lingers. This obligation falls on both the orthodontist and the patient. On the one hand, it is the orthodontist's responsibility to offer well-fitting, comfortable retainers and appropriate instructions and encouragement for the patient to wear them frequently. On the other hand, the patient is required to wear the Retainer as recommended by the orthodontist.




An orthodontic retainer is the very last step on the path to an eternally straight smile. There are two types of retainers:


Removable:  the patient may put them in and take them out regularly. They can be wire retainers or clear retainers, made of wire plus a plastic-like substance. Fixed:  These are constructed of thin, custom-fitted wire and connected to your upper or lower teeth on the tongue side.





After orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist may recommend wearing the Retainer for a specified time or indefinitely. Generally, an Orthodontic Retainer should be worn for at least one year after teeth straightening treatment because our teeth continue to shift throughout our lives. Thus the recommendation is to use them routinely on a long-term basis.




Relapse can occur if retainers are not used regularly after treatment. Also, if not cleaned correctly, retainers can function as a food reservoir, leading to cavities and gingival irritation. Removable retainers can be cleaned using retainer/denture tablets, a toothbrush, fragrance-free soap, or non-abrasive toothpaste. Shrinkage may occur if the water used to clean the Retainer is excessively hot.


Following teeth straightening treatment, you will be needed to attend frequent follow-up consultations as part of your orthodontist's general aftercare program. These visits may last up to a year after the initial treatment and are used to track the success of your teeth straightening process, inspect and maintain your Retainer, and ensure it is functioning correctly.




Retainers are beneficial for causes other than tooth sliding. Some children protrude their tongues (a condition where the tongue slides through the teeth when you talk). Some retainers can be custom-made to retrain your tongue not to migrate forward while you chat.


Retainers can also help youngsters with bruxism, and grinding of teeth. Retainers can assist by preventing your child's jaw from totally shutting at sleep, keeping them from grinding their teeth.


Contact your Danville dentist, Dr. Hoss Abar, DDS, MSD at Danville Orthodontics today to learn more about Retainers.






*Neither this nor any other content in this media is meant to prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. We highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition. *

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