Permanent retainers are the most common type of retainer used after orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist or dentist should remove a fixed retainer, which is designed to stay in place for several years. It is generally recommended for people whose teeth were too twisted, crowded, and had a lot of space between them before orthodontic treatment. The best thing about a fixed retainer is that it is a permanent retainer (that attaches to the teeth) and there is no option to remove it.
However, they can be difficult to clean, leading to plaque buildup over time, causing dental problems later on. So, make sure to clean it thoroughly. After active treatment is over, your orthodontist will likely prescribe retainers. Using retainers as prescribed is the key to maintaining successful orthodontic treatment.
The responsibility for keeping your teeth where you and your orthodontist moved them lies with you. This phase of “retention” of care is critical to the long-term stability of treatment outcomes.
Because this type of retainer can be easily adjusted, your orthodontist has the flexibility to adjust them as needed after braces for better results. Your orthodontist will explain how removable retainers should be cleaned, depending on the materials used to make them.
Although each person may vary slightly, orthodontists generally recommend that you wear retainers every night for the rest of your life. However, Hawley retainers are easier to repair than other appliances, so your orthodontist can also adjust and repair the Hawley retainer if it deforms or doesn't fit well. If a removable retainer doesn't fit properly (which can happen if they're not used as prescribed by the orthodontist) or if a fixed retainer comes loose, call your orthodontist for an appointment. Over time, after about a year, your orthodontist may allow you to start wearing them every few nights, approximately 4 to 5 nights a week.
When you remove your braces for the first time or finish your treatment with a transparent aligner, your orthodontist will give you instructions on how to use the retainer. Orthodontists usually give patients removable backup retainers if the fixed retainers fail or there is a high risk of relapse (when the teeth return to their original position before treatment). The teeth will change in the years after the braces are removed, but the extent to which they move will depend on how often the retainers are used. If your retainer seems to have lost its shape or if it no longer fits when you try to place it on your teeth, tell your orthodontist.
It is important to use the retainer after orthodontic appliances or treatment with transparent aligners, to protect the progress achieved in aligning the teeth and prevent them from returning to their pre-treatment positions. If you don't wear a retainer after braces, your teeth will return to how they were before orthodontic treatment. Talk to your orthodontist about how long you will wear the retainer - many patients wear retainers every night for life. A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that is used after braces and other orthodontic appliances are removed - retainers ensure that the teeth and gums stay in place after the braces are removed to prevent relapse and the revocation of orthodontic treatment. As an expert in Orthodontics and Dental Care, I highly recommend wearing a retainer after completing any type of orthodontic treatment or appliance removal.
Retainers help keep your teeth in their new position and prevent them from shifting back into their original position before treatment. Fixed retainers are permanent and cannot be removed while removable retainers should be worn every night for life or as prescribed by your orthodontist. It's important to follow all instructions given by your orthodontist when using a retainer - this includes cleaning it regularly and wearing it as prescribed. If you experience any issues with your retainer such as it not fitting properly or coming loose, contact your orthodontist immediately for an appointment. Retainers are essential for maintaining successful orthodontic treatment outcomes and should be worn as prescribed by your orthodontist for life.