Retainers After Braces: Everything You Need To Know

Anyone who has received orthodontic care must wear a retainer. After braces and other orthodontic appliances are removed, a retainer is a device that is worn. It is created specifically for each patient from plastic and metal and fits over the top of the teeth and mouth. 

Why Is It Important To Wear Retainers?

Your teeth will return to their pre-orthodontic state if you don’t wear a retainer after braces. You risk having an orthodontic relapse, which may require significant treatment if you ignore the retainer. In the years after braces are removed, the teeth will shift, but how much depends on how frequently you use the retainers.

  • The soft tissue and bone surrounding your teeth need some time to adjust to the changes in tooth alignment when your braces are taken off. Once they have gradually reached their new balance, there is very little chance of recurrence or teeth shifting out of place.
  • Preteens and teenagers, whose bodies are still developing, are the age groups most likely to use braces. Therefore, they would wear dental retainers about the time when their wisdom teeth began to erupt. When they wear the retainer religiously, the space in their jaw required to accommodate new teeth, such as wisdom teeth, will be preserved. Utilizing retainers regularly prevents teeth from shifting or crowding due to a lack of available space.
  • The teeth will shift back to their original positions in the months after the braces are taken off. The reverse can be avoided with a retainer. You could have to wear a retainer for a few years, depending on your particular situation.
  • The gums and bones surrounding your teeth will take longer to adjust to the new position as your teeth are being realigned. Faster alignment and bite stabilization are two benefits of retainers.
  • The teeth will stabilize more slowly if you employ braces to close the gaps in your teeth. This applies even in severe tooth displacement, significant overbites, and underbites. While the mouth adjusts to these changes, keeping the teeth that need to be moved or relocated significantly firmly in their new positions is crucial. This is made possible with the retainer.

Types Of Retainers To Use After Braces

  • Fixed Retainers
  • Removable Retainers

Fixed, permanent retainers and removable retainers are the two types of retainers that people can wear. Permanent retainers can be more challenging to clean around, are sometimes a pain, and are used on people who don’t want braces. People who have previously worn braces and do not want their teeth to shift back into an unfavorable position use removable retainers. However, since bacteria can develop inside the retainer, they should occasionally be replaced.

What To Expect From Retainers?

Although retainers are painless, they may require some getting used to because they may initially feel strange. Usually, within a few days, your mouth will get used to the retainer.

How Long Do I Need To Wear Retainers After Braces?

Following removing your braces, you should maintain a removable retainer for as least 12 months; however, the first 4-6 months may require you to wear it constantly. However, because every orthodontic procedure is different, the length of time you must wear a retainer will vary depending on the kind of orthodontic treatment you had.

What Happens When I Don’t Wear Retainers?

If you forget to wear your retainer, your teeth could shift back into their natural positions. If you don’t use your retainer after having braces removed, this could happen.

How Much Do Retainers Cost?

A retainer typically costs between $100 and $500. Costlier retainers usually come in clear.

Orthodontic therapy is partially covered by some insurance companies but not by others. Contact your insurance company for more information on the specifics of what your policy covers.


While braces make your teeth straight, a retainer makes them permanent. Through braces, you invested a lot of time, effort, and money in getting the smile of your dreams. Following your dental professional’s advice for a teeth retainer, you can keep it for years. It’s an essential step in the teeth-straightening procedure.