Ridge Meadows Othrodontics

What is a Retainer, and Why Do You Need One?

Posted in Articles, Braces Basics

What is a Retainer, and Why Do You Need One?

You’ve finally reached the day when your braces can come off! But just when you thought your orthodontic treatment was over, your orthodontist tells you that you need a retainer!


Unfortunately, as much as we feel for you, retainers are just as important in the orthodontic treatment process as your braces are.

What is a retainer, and why do you need it?

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that is custom-made for you out of plastic and/or wire. Your retainer is designed to hold or ‘retain’ your teeth in their new, corrected positions.

Once your braces are removed, your teeth will need to settle into the soft tissue and jaw bone that surround them. This process takes time, and wearing a retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting out of position after your braces are no longer there to hold them in place.

Wearing your retainer as prescribed is the best way to ensure that your orthodontic treatment is effective, and lasts the rest of your life.

How long should your retainer be worn?

Most patients wear their retainers for about a year, but the time frame can vary significantly from patient to patient.

During the time you wear your retainer, your orthodontist will carefully monitor the stability of your teeth, and make a recommendation about whether you need to wear the retainer full time, or part time.

Are retainers comfortable?

You may occasionally feel soreness, pressure or discomfort while wearing your retainer. This is normal, so don’t worry!

Over all, the more consistently you wear your retainer, the more comfortable it will feel.

If you have have any questions about your retainer, feel free to contact the Ridge Meadows Orthodontics team today!

Book your No Obligation Smile Consultation today with Ridge Meadows Orthodontics.