Everything You Need To Know About Retainers

Finally! Your braces are off and your teeth are free! However, you must still wear retainers if you don't want all that pain, expense, and time to go to waste. Here is everything you need to know about retainers so you can keep your teeth perfect!

Different Types of Retainers

There are many different types of retainers. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

  • Essix (clear retainers): This a very popular retainer as it's not as noticeable as other retainers. One study shows that this type of retainer causes less issues with oral hygiene than other types. Some disadvantages of this type of retainer is that they make it harder to talk and they are not adjustable.
  • Hawley: This type of retainer is the oldest type of retainer and consists of a plastic piece and a wire. It can be adjusted and repaired if damaged.
  • Permanent Retainers: This type of retainer is bonded directly to your teeth. While this is ideal for keeping your teeth in the required position, it can cause problems with oral hygiene. The best advantages to this type of retainer is that you won't have to deal with the temptation of removing it and you won't lose it and have to buy a replacement like you would with a removable retainer.


Cleaning your retainer is essential for the health of your mouth, for the appearance of the retainer, and for the longevity of the retainer. For removable retainers, it's a good idea to soak the retainers and then brush them.

Pain and Soreness

Just like braces, retainers can cause discomfort until you get used them. If you stop wearing them for awhile and then wear them again, they will cause pain similar to the pain you felt when your braces were tightened. If you feel extreme discomfort, you should get an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Retainers Must be Worn For a Long Period of Time

Sometimes retainers have to be worn for life, even if you don't choose the permanent type. This ensures your teeth will not move back to their previous position. The removable retainers usually need to be worn constantly for a long time and then you can start wearing them only at night after your orthodontist gives you the green light.

As you can see, there is a lot that you need to know about retainers and it's best to study up on the different types before making a decision. You will also want to listen carefully to your orthodontist regarding how long you should wear them and the cleaning and care of them. Contact a company like Family Dentistry by Dr Gary Mannarino for more information.