Once braces are off, wire and acrylic retainers are worn to complete orthodontic treatment. All the hard work and expense put into braces can be lost if retainers are not worn properly to settle the teeth into their new positions.
Retainers are small devices that are placed in a patient’s mouth behind his/her teeth in order to re-align or maintain a specific position of the teeth. There are different types of retainers, such as removable versus a fixed retainer. They are typically made from clear plastic or wires.
They can help to ensure that a patient’s straightened teeth will last over the long term.
Ideally you should wear your retainers at night for life. The amount of movement by your teeth can vary from person to person. So after a week it’s possible to have some small amount of relapse, small spaces or rotations are most common. After a month your bite may start to change overbite and overjet tend to increase and rotations worsen. Over years and with age teeth tend to crowd and collapse towards your tongue.
Retainers are fragile and should not be around hot water, and should be kept in their case when not being worn. Removable retainers booth upper and lower should be brushed with toothpaste for cleaning.