How To Use Retainers: The Definitive Guide

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Orthodontic treatments have become prevalent over the years among people of all ages. It not only helps with getting your teeth straightened but also addresses different dental issues. However, every treatment sure requires a post-orthodontic care. When it comes to teeth straightening procedures, retainers are the ultimate post-care. Let us delve into the complete understanding of retainers and how to use them for effective treatment care.

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Orthodontic Retainers

Retainers are orthodontic devices that help keep your teeth from returning to their original place. After achieving a new smile, there is still a chance of your teeth moving back to their original place. However, retainers help to sustain your smile in the desired place for the long run. Your orthodontic can best suggest you the duration and wear time for your retainers.

Types of Retainers

Different types of retainers help in the retention phase. An individual can opt for the type of retainer according to their personal preference or as per their orthodontist’s recommendation.

Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainers consist of a thin metal wire with plastic or acrylic material that sits on the roof of the mouth to retain the alignment of the teeth. These types of retainers are removable and can be used in the long run if maintained properly.

Fixed Retainers

This type of retainer is bonded on the inner side of your teeth. Unlike Hawley or clear retainers, fixed retainers cannot be removed without the supervision of an expert.

Clear Retainers

Clear retainers are the most popular types of retainers that help in the retention of teeth post an orthodontic treatment. These types are barely visible which makes them easy to wear anytime you want. Moreover, clear retainers can be removed to keep up with your eating patterns and ensure regular oral health.

Importance of Retainers

Post-care treatment is a crucial period of any treatment. When it comes to orthodontic treatment, you wouldn’t want your investment and time to go to waste. This is why, post-care treatment with retainers is highly essential. They help sustain your teeth to their new position without and maintain that newly achieved smile of yours.

How to use Retainers

After you have completed your orthodontic treatment successfully, you will be moved toward the retention phase.

Consult your orthodontist

Post-orthodontic care begins by consulting your orthodontist. They will suggest the wear time for retainers as per your case. Initially, you might have to wear your retainers throughout the day which might be shifted to nighttime wear only. However, in some cases, retainers may be worn for an infinite time.

Wear Time

Even though your treatment has been completed, you must adhere to the wear time of retainers as prescribed by your orthodontist. In case you do not fulfill the required wear time, there is a high chance that your teeth start to move back to their original place.

Retainer maintenance

To achieve optimal results it is essential to maintain your retainers throughout the journey. No matter the type of retainers, they do need to be well maintained to retain your teeth effectively.

Maintenance of Retainers

Orthodontic retainers require proper maintenance for them to work well. To keep them intact for a long time you must clean and store your retainers in place.

Clean your retainers

Clear retainers can be removed easily which means you can have your daily meals and ensure oral hygiene without any hurdle. However, it must be noted that every time you take your retainers off, they must be cleaned before re-inserting them. Different ways can be opted to clean your retainers properly including using a soft-bristled brush

Store them well

Orthodontic patients who prefer removable retainers must ensure they store their retainers in their storage containers. Putting your retainers in a napkin or directly in your pocket can damage it or may cause scratches leading to impacting the effectiveness of the device.

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To conclude, retainers are an important orthodontic device that helps an individual to keep to retain their teeth to their new place. Orthodontic patients can choose the type of retainers according to their personal preference. However, your orthodontist might suggest you according to the severity of your case.


1. Is it necessary to use retainers after getting your teeth straightened?

The purpose of retainers is to help retain your teeth in their newly shifted place. Your orthodontist can best recommend you regarding the usage and wear time according to your case.

2. What are the different types of retainers?

Different types of retainers include Hawley retainers, fixed, and clear retainers. Orthodontic patients can opt according to their personal preference or your orthodontist can best suggest you as per the severity of your case.

3. What is the wear time for retainers?

The wear time of retainers varies depending on the severity of the case. Some people might have to wear retainers for an infinite time. Whereas others might have to wear during the day initially shifting to nighttime only wear.

4. What are the benefits of using clear retainers?

Clear retainers are invisible and can be worn anytime and anywhere. These can be easily removed without the supervision of an expert. Orthodontic patients can enjoy their meals and continue brushing simply by removing their retainers.

5. Are clear retainers an effective approach for tooth retention?

Yes, clear retainers can effectively prevent orthodontic relapse and help you sustain your beautifully achieved new smile.