Reminders: Wear Your Retainers All the Time! 

After getting your braces off, you are now set to wear your retainers. This is an essential step after getting them removed. Dental retainers are used in the last phase of your orthodontist treatment. These are designed to hold your teeth in place after any method of realigning your teeth or after wearing braces in short. 

Now you wonder if this treatment plan for retainers will give you satisfaction like how your braces straightened your crooked teeth. How long should you wear them? What might happen if you don’t wear one? Let’s find out. 

How long should you wear retainers?

Wearing retainers definitely feels like a chore. You will have to take care of it just like your braces on. If you are contemplating whether to wear one or not, your orthodontics will still recommend you wear them immediately. You heard it right. You should wear them when your braces are off your teeth as prescribed by your orthodontics. 

Some may recommend you wear them full-time or for a minimum of 1 year, depending on the types of retainers and the cases of your teeth. For bonded or fixed retainers, you’ll have to wear them 24/7 or all day and all night. In cases where you will have to wear removable braces, you may receive different instructions from your doctor.

A study shows that dental retainers can be taken in at least six months for the realignment of the teeth to become permanent. After the braces are removed by the specialist, the teeth will try to go back to their original position, called relapse, which occurs after the orthodontics treatment. This is why wear retainers should be worn to prevent this from happening. 

As for the kids’ their bodies are still growing, making their teeth shift quickly. Some kids only use retainers to fix the gaps between their teeth or to just move one tooth. The braces aren’t much needed in these cases since the retainers can do the job. Other kids use retainers only at night, but they should be worn for more than a year. 

When wearing retainers, it is best always to follow your orthodontics’ instructions to avoid massive shifting of the teeth and other problems that may occur after taking your braces off. 

Types of retainers and how long it lasts 

There are two forms of retainers: removable and permanent. You may only be given a kind of retainer from your orthodontist. The cost of retainers also varies depending on their types. Let’s check out the different kinds of permanent and removable retainers and their durability. 

Removable retainers include Hawley and vacuum-formed retainers. These retainers are adjustable and can be taken in and out of the mouth when meals or for oral hygiene. 

  • Hawley Retainers are the most common removable retainers. This type of retainer is affordable when compared to other types. It consists of metal wires that surround the six frontal teeth and keeps them in place, and It is durable that can last long, usually for about 1-20 years. The downside of the Hawley retainers is that the wire is visible, and it can be lost or damaged when removed and not carefully taken care of. 
  • Vacuum-formed retainer is another common type of removable retainer. This transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth, although other designs are only suitable for canine to canine. It is made from polypropylene or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material. This also lasts for about 6 to 12 months when handled with care. 

Fixed retainers are provided by your orthodontics to decrease the chances of relapse. It consists of metal wire, usually copper or nickel or a combination of both. These retainers are used when instability is more likely to happen to the patient. Fixed retainers cost more for one arch. These are also hard to maintain in terms of oral hygiene since they cannot be removed easily, and the tartar can build up. 


Wearing retainers might feel like a heavy piece of job in a lifelong manner, but it will never do you wrong. This is one of the essential tools to help you maintain your straightened teeth after removing your braces. One of the studies shows that wearing them for at least four to six months can prevent the relapse or shifting of the teeth returning to their original place. However, it would help if you listened to your orthodontist’s instructions to avoid another tooth-related problem. 

Since you are now opting to wear this, you should remember to keep your removable retainers clean to steer clear of the tartar build-up from your teeth and retainers. Using soft-bristle brushes may also maintain the sturdiness of the materials used and keep away from scratches. Consider your orthodontist’s advice, especially for permanent or bonded retainers. 

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].