Kids Dental Group orthodontists explains why we need retainers after braces

Wearing a retainer at night and between meals allows your teeth to hold their new form as they naturally try to shift over time.

Like any part of your body, your teeth will consistently change as you age. Contrary to popular belief, teeth are not permanently anchored down after they are corrected. The process of depositing new bone to stabilize your teeth after they are in the perfect position can take up to a year. After your braces are removed there is a chance your teeth will shift. Your retainer will allow the bones and tissue around your teeth to adapt and hold their new position after your braces are taken off.

How long do I have to wear my retainer?

Dr. Lee or Dr. Antoniazzi will tell you how long you will need to wear your retainer after braces are removed. Your orthodontist may recommend you wear your retainer for one year up to the rest of your life!

Which Type of retainer is right for me?

Our orthodontists will decide which type is best for you; either removable or fixed. Each retainer is a custom made tool that is fabricated by your orthodontist. It is meant to ensure your teeth stay perfect for the rest of your life. The type of retainer you get depends on your clinical needs and desires.


Removable retainers can be easily removed when you eat or brush your teeth. If you are instructed to wear your retainer for the rest of your life, you will need to replace it several times. An old retainer will not keep your smile as perfect as it was when you got your braces removed.

Your retainer should be kept in a box when you are not wearing it. Do not wrap it in a tissue or paper towel because it can easily get thrown out by accident.

We recommend you soak your retainer in denture cleaning tablets or vinegar and water. Regular tooth paste is not a good way to clean your retainer because it can encourage bacteria growth and erode the acrylic surface.


Fixed retainers are cemented to the back of your teeth and are typically in place for years. Your orthodontist will advise when to remove your retainer.

Your fixed retainer cannot be removed easily, so you must take great care of your mouth in order for it to stay clean. You will need to spend more time than usual brushing the back of your teeth. Brush all around the wire to make sure calculus does not form. A floss threader can be used to access the small spaces between your teeth.

It is essential you come in for regular check ups with your dentist to make sure there is no tartar or plaque build up around your retainer.

Do you have any more questions about your retainer?

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Feel free to send any quick questions to our Kids Dental live specialists! They would love to chat with you