Retainers are the appliances that keep your teeth straight at the end of treatment. This is a very important phase of treatment as without them your teeth could go slightly crooked again throughout growth and even in adulthood. As a general rule, we recommend that teenagers wear their retainers at least until they finish growing and that adults wear them indefinitely.
Retainers come in two general forms. Removable retainers look like a much thinner version of a rugby player's mouthguard; in fact, they are almost identical to an Invisalign® aligner. This type is usually worn just in bed at night. Fixed retainers consist of a fine wire glued to the tongue side of the teeth; these are generally left in place for an extended period of time.
Retainers are the last vital element of orthodontic treatment.
Do I have to wear my retainer forever?
In short, yes, you should wear your retainer forever. For the first couple months, it is recommended that you wear your retainer continuously (and removing it when you eat or drink anything besides water). After the first couple months, you can wear your retainer only at night, every night.
What is the purpose of a retainer?
A retainer is custom-made to the shape of your teeth and is used to maintain the newly-positioned teeth. Retainers are an important part of post-orthodontic care. They can also be used to treat minor orthodontic problems.
How do I clean my retainer?
It's important to clean your retainer after every use (or every night before bed if you are wearing it every night). You can clean your retainer by brushing it gently with your toothbrush and toothpaste. For a deeper clean, mix lukewarm water with a mild dishsoap. Use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away plaque and other debris then rinse.