Wearing retainers after braces is a lifelong commitment

What comes after braces?

You may think the answer is straightened teeth, enhanced smiles, and better aesthetics. But no! It is retainers that come after braces. Yes after undergoing months of orthodontic treatment and achieving perfectly straight teeth the most obvious thing that you need is orthodontic retainers. Why? It is to prevent your teeth from sinking back into their initial position before the treatment. In other words, if you ignore wearing retainers after completion of your treatment then the effects of the treatment could easily be reversed or negated as your teeth settle back into their initial position within a few months.

There are varieties of retainers readily available in the market. You are not sure about the retainer which will suit you. So, what do you do? You must choose your retainer carefully. It is important to choose a retainer that is not only effective for your teeth but also smoothly fits into your lifestyle. Choosing the right retainers for our teeth is not an easy task. A wide range of products also makes the task of choosing the right product quite confusing. Let us sort out all the confusion in the following sections of this post. Let us unearth more information about orthodontic retainers. This will help us make informed decisions easily.

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What is the role of retainers?

Once your orthodontic treatment ends the braces are taken out from your teeth. Once the braces get removed your teeth will want to sink back into their initial position before the treatment. This negates the effects of your treatment. So you must stop your teeth from moving back into their original position reversing the treatment results. it takes time to tame the teeth and prevent them from reversing back into their original positions.

As we keep ageing our teeth get automatically drifted. This is a natural phenomenon. The teeth not only cross but also crowd with time. Orthodontic retainers are much like an anchor of a ship. Retainers prevent unwanted drifting of the teeth. Dentists based in London say a permanent retainer performs the task of fixing your teeth in their final position at the end of an orthodontic procedure.

Different types of retainers to choose from

Let us go through the different options you have in choosing your retainer after braces.

Fixed retainers

This variety of retainers is a thin small wire and it remains boned to the back of your teeth in the front. A fixed retainer involves a set of six teeth at the front of your mouth. The wire is thin enough not to be visible. It is easy to get used to it. Once you start using it, you will quickly forget that it is there in your mouth. Your orthodontist or dentist will fix it to your mouth on the day when your braces finally come off.

Benefits of fixed retainers

  • This variety of retainers never comes in the way of your usual lifestyle. You will pretty easily forget its presence it your mouth and will go about with your daily business in the normal way.


  • On the flip side, this range of retainers makes proper brushing and flossing very difficult. This in turn may affect your oral hygiene quotient. Flossing is practically impossible when wearing fixed retainers on the teeth. However dental toothbrush is likely to prove effective to some extent in cleaning the teeth.
  • Fixed retainers bind only your canine teeth together. So if you have shifted or realigned any other teeth then those could still relapse or sink into their original positions with time.

Clear retainers

Also known as Essix retainers, these are quite identical to Invisalign aligners. Once your orthodontic treatment shifts your teeth into correct alignment your dentist takes an impression of your perfectly positioned teeth. Then it was sent to a dental lab. Your clear aligners are custom-fitted for your mouth based on that impression. The retainer is shipped to you the very next day.

A dentist having years of experience in handling cases with retainers in London says it is important to wear this range of invisible retainers both day and night right after the completion of your orthodontic treatment. After about 3 months of maintaining a rigorous wearing routine, you may start wearing it only at night while going to sleep. But that decision must be taken by your dentist or orthodontist.

Invisalign also offers high-quality clear retainers under the brand Vivera. These retainer braces are highly durable and easily last for years together.

Benefits of clear retainers

  • Clear retainers cover all your teeth. Thus the appliances can provide maximum retention.
  • Clear retainers prove easier for Invisalign patients. They have been wearing similar kinds of retainer trays for months at a stretch.


  • You must comply with the instructions of your dentist and build up the habit of wearing it for a stipulated number of hours each day.
  • If you fail to comply with the expert’s instructions there are massive chance of your relapsing back into their original position.
  • Initially, during the first few days of wearing the aligner, your speech could be a little affected. But that lisp automatically disappears in a few days as you speak normally again.
  • The range of appliances is highly prone to wear and tear. In other words, it is not very durable.

Hawley retainers

This variety of products also comes under the category of removable retainer teeth. It is made up of thin wires and covers the front surface of the teeth. The wire clasps on the back of the teeth.

Advantages of Hawley retainers

  • A dentist who has dealt in fixed retainers in London over the years assures the range of appliances is easily adjustable and highly durable.


  • There will be plastic on the roof of your mouth. It is hard to get sued for it. The plastic will often touch the tip of the tongue as well.
  • Not very cool and comfortable compared to the other products discussed above.

How long do I have to be on retainers?

The risk of shifting of the teeth is most right after the braces are removed. This is the time when you need your retainers most badly. This phase usually lasts 3 to 4 months after completion of the treatment.

However, according to dentists working at the 1A Orthodontics Clinic in London, there is always the chance your teeth may shift a little. To avoid that risk wearing retainers after braces should be a lifelong commitment.

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