Braces to Retainers: Reasons Why You Should Wear Them

After long years of wearing braces, your teeth are finally free from these uncomfortable wires and attached brackets.

Now your orthodontist is mixing yet another solution and doing a new procedure to know the exact fitting in your teeth. What is this for? Retainers. 

Dental retainers are used after your braces are taken off your teeth. There are different types of retainers, but you shouldn’t be worried about them, as your orthodontist will help you with what’s best for you and your teeth.

Eager to know if you badly need it to use it? Here’s why you should.

What You Should Know About Retainers

What are Dental Retainers?

What are Dental Retainers?

These are custom-made devices that are made of wires and plastics. These hold out your teeth after your braces are removed to maintain your straightened or corrected teeth. 

If you ignore these orthodontic appliances after bracing, your teeth will have to revert to how they were before the treatment. This might cause another expensive and extensive treatment to fix the reversed positions of the teeth. 

There are two types of retainers: removable and fixed retainers. 

Removable retainers are usually in plastic plates that cover the mouth palate or the roof of the mouth and can only be used to achieve limited movement of the tooth. 

One of the best-known removable types is Hawley retainers, also known as wired retainers. This retainer can be taken out of your teeth for meals and other hygienic purposes.

Clear Plastic Retainers, or molded retainers, are designed to fit your newly straightened teeth perfectly made with molded clear plastics.

Unlike the Hawley retainers, the retainers have a shorter lifespan as the plastics wear out eventually. The worst is that it may crack.

Bonded or fixed retainers are attached to your teeth and cannot be removed. These are made up of brackets glued to each tooth linked with wires.

These are recommended for patients with rotated, crowded, or wide spacing of the teeth before the orthodontics treatment. However, they are difficult to clean, leading to tartar or plaque build-up and may cause dental issues. 

Although wearing orthodontics retainers can be a bit irritating, it can be an advantage over having to wear braces all over again.  

Reasons Why You Should Wear Them

Reasons Why You Should Wear Them

Retainers are mostly used in the last phase of your orthodontics treatment after removing your braces.

Prevents Relapse

Wearing retainers is important to stop your teeth from shifting back to their original place. Teeth shifting or orthodontic relapse happens the moment you get your braces removed. 

Why do these teeth relapse? There will be tooth movement in the mouth.

This happens most when the patient has failed to consistently wear the retainers provided by the orthodontist who took care of your orthodontist treatment. The changes in the position of your teeth may continue throughout your life. 

Bite Stabilization

Your teeth’ mouth and soft tissues take time to adjust once your braces are removed. Retainers maintain the new arrangement of the mouth and are more likely to prevent teeth shift. 

Gaps the Space in your Child’s Teeth

Dental Retainers are also beneficial for your kids’ teeth gaps. These will help your teeth in line and aid in closing the space between your teeth, especially for teenagers whose bodies are still developing.

Braces are not needed, as the retainers can do the job. You just have to wear it religiously so you won’t always have to feel uncomfortable using it for the first time.

Even though you will have to feel pressure when wearing it, it’s completely normal. 

Holds Your Teeth in Place

Holding the teeth to adapt to the new spaces or repositioning teeth is essential. Using braces to correct the gaps between your teeth will take much longer for your teeth to maintain their place.

Retainers can hold your teeth even for large overbites and underbites. 

You won’t go back to your dentist anymore when you constantly wear retainers, as you are likely to achieve ideal results within 18 to 24 months of using them.

The average period of wearing removable retainers is at least 12 months. Wearing it full-time for 4-6 months can also make a great difference.


Using retainers can be a bit discomforting, and getting into the habit of wearing them might take a long time. Feeling weird at first is completely normal.

Talking slowly and not taking it out when feeling pain might be good practice; eventually, you won’t feel it’s there.

Some orthos advise reading aloud for several minutes a day may help to increase the chance of getting used to wearing it. 

It is also important to take care of your retainers and not lose it.

Always make sure they are kept clean and should be brushed just like how your teeth are brushed to steer away from bacteria and other plaques. Take good care of it, as you will need it as long as your teeth move.