Blog Post

Why Are Retainers Important?


Braces are an important part of healthy teeth for many people, whether you get them for health or cosmetic reasons. However, the most important part may come after your braces are removed. Your retainer is your ticket to keeping your smile beautiful for years to come!

What does a retainer look like?

A retainer is usually made out of either clear plastic, or a combination of plastic and wire, and is custom made to fit your mouth. It may be large enough to cover the roof of your mouth, or a bit smaller, fitting over a row or even just a few of your teeth. An orthodontist, like Dr. Jolley, will check the retainer to make sure that it properly fits.

What does a retainer do?

A retainer has several purposes! First of all, it retains (or keeps) your teeth in their new positions. As you get older, your jaws continue to grow and change. If you are not wearing your retainer as instructed, your teeth will shift and can completely undo the work of braces! Even as an adult, your teeth continue to shift slightly due to age and enamel erosion. Wearing your retainer will help keep these changes from altering your new alignment. You don’t want to have to get braces again right?

How long do I have to wear it?

Dr. Jolley will instruct you on how long to wear your retainer. The time depends on each person. We might suggest that you have a permanent retainer fitted into your mouth. These are typically unobtrusive, invisible and painless, and can guarantee your teeth maintain their new position for years to come. However, permanent retainers are not always necessary. Typically, you will have to wear your retainer consistently for a few months, and eventually switch to only at night. Each case is unique, and Dr. Jolley will work with you to find the plan that works best for your smile!

Is it really that important?

Yes, yes, yes! We cannot stress how important it is to wear a retainer! Teeth shift constantly throughout life, whether or not you’re growing. The only way to guarantee that you won’t need braces again, and keep your smile looking stunning for years to come is to consistently wear your retainer! After a short adjustment period, wearing your retainer will become a natural part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth!