After Braces: The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer

After Braces: The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer


There’s no denying braces are an investment of not only money, but time as well. Weeks of bracket adjustments and painful tightening lead to a beautifully aligned smile; however, orthodontic treatment does not end when the braces come off. The retainer you receive after your braces are removed is extremely important to the health of your smile for a few different reasons. We have compiled everything you need to know about retainers, from the types of retainers to the reasons you must wear yours.

Types of Retainers

There are a few options when it comes to your retainer, and your orthodontist will recommend the best fit for you and your smile.

Fixed Retainers

A fixed, or permanent, retainer stays in your mouth at all times. Although they can make flossing difficult, a permanent retainer is a great option for anyone afraid of losing their retainer or forgetting to wear it every night. Fixed retainers are simply a thin piece of metal glued behind the affected teeth in order to promote stability.

Removable Retainers

There are two types of removable retainers: Hawley and Essix retainers. Hawley retainers are the most common and what we generally think of when we think of a retainer. They are made of metal and acrylic, and show a metal bar across the front of your teeth while in place. Essix retainers are a bit different. Made of clear plastic, Essix retainers are great options for people that are self-conscious about retainer visibility. They fit directly over your teeth and are barely visible when in place.

Importance of Wearing Your Retainer

Just because your braces are off doesn’t mean your teeth will stay perfectly straight for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, teeth begin moving back to their original position almost immediately following the removal of braces, so ensuring you wear your retainer as often as recommended by your orthodontist is important for preventing treatment reversal. Your teeth also take a while to stabilize after major shifts, and your retainer helps them hold their position and retain strength.

Orthodontics at Cornerstone Family Dentistry

Just because you have a few crooked teeth doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautifully straight smile. Braces and orthodontic treatment at Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Nashville are designed to give you the dream smile you deserve. Our bilingual staff is equipped to help those in and around the Nashville area, no matter your background, and will work hard to find the best orthodontic solution for you. Contact us today to learn more about available appointment times.