Dental Tips Blog


How Long Will I Have to Wear a Retainer?

Posted in Orthodontics

You feel you’ve suffered with braces long enough. Why test your patience even longer with a retainer?

Orthodontic retainers are crucial to maintaining a perfectly straight smile. Your teeth aren’t naturally inclined to stay in their new positions. Because bone is softer than tooth roots, the teeth will shift through it close to where they were before. The risk of relapse is especially high during the first month after your braces come off.

How much time does it take for your teeth to stabilize?

Well, that depends. Every case is different. Your teeth may take longer to settle firmly in place if your case was particularly complex. If you want a ballpark estimate, you need to check with your orthodontist.

Here are some general guidelines when it comes to orthodontic retainers:

  • Some people only need to wear them full-time for a week, others for a year
  • You may only need to wear the retainer at night
  • Your orthodontist may recommend wearing the retainer for as long as you had braces
  • Most people should wear the retainer for a full year after braces are removed
  • A lot of folks choose to wear their retainers for life, just to ensure a perfect smile forever.

Wearing braces took a lot of time, sacrifice, expense, and discomfort. The effort certainly paid off and you don’t want to go through that experience again! Keep the beautiful results you worked hard to achieve by using your retainer as often and as long as your orthodontist recommends.

Want to learn more about how to get the most out of your retainer? Find out more at your next orthodontic checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
The Newport Beach Dentist
1901 Westcliff Drive #6
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 646-2481


Bonded vs. Removable Retainers

Posted in Orthodontics

Once your braces come off, you want to do everything you can to keep your teeth straight and prevent them from drifting out of place. Your orthodontic provider will help you do this by creating a retainer that you will wear, which will stabilize the teeth and bone and extend the results of your treatment.

There are two types of retainers that orthodontic patients wear: removable and bonded. A removable retainer is an acrylic or wire tray that is worn around all of your teeth and helps reinforce their position over time, always guiding teeth into place when you wear it. A bonded retainer is a permanent retainer that consists of a smile wire that is cemented to the back of a limited number of the front teeth. Most people have these either between their top two front teeth, or behind their lower 6 front teeth. If your bonded retainer ever comes out, it is important for you to have it cemented back into place as soon as possible.

Your retainer should be kept clean and well cared for to extend the life of the appliance. Even patients that have had their braces off for over 10 years still find it necessary to rely on their removable retainers a few nights a month to secure their tooth alignment. Talk to your hygienist about the best way to keep your appliance clean and free of tartar buildup.

Ask your orthodontic provider about which type of retainer is the best option for you. For people that had significant misalignment or spacing concerns in the front teeth, a bonded retainer may be most appropriate to prevent relapse. Only you and your orthodontist can decide which is the best option for you individually.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental


3 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Straight After Orthodontic Treatment

Posted in Braces

You’ve just spent months or years getting your teeth straightened through orthodontic treatment. Now, it’s up to you to keep them that way! That’s right, if you don’t take a few specific steps your teeth won’t stay straight. Here are 3 tips to help your teeth stay straight after you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment.

#1 – See your orthodontist for a follow up

After your initial treatment is completed, you’ll see your dentist for a follow up or two once your braces are off. This will allow him or her to make sure that your retainers are fitting properly and guarding your bite as closely as they need to be.

#2 – Wear your retainer

Some patients have permanent retainers that are bonded into place, while other people wear removable retainers. The only way to keep your teeth straight is by wearing your retainer regularly. Follow your orthodontist’s instruction, and as the years go by you’ll want to still wear it a night or two each week.

#3 – Always keep your retainer, and replace it if it breaks or is lost.

If 10 years have gone by, your teeth still have the potential to shift back out of place. Most people quit wearing their retainers when they lose them or it breaks. To save yourself from going back through orthodontic care, have a replacement made as soon as possible.

Without following proper orthodontic after-care instructions, it is very likely that your teeth can shift back out of place, causing large gaps or crooked teeth where you had them before. After your investment in orthodontics, take the time to ensure that your smile will look great years down the road.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Brett Gluck



How Long Should You Wear Your Orthodontic Retainer?

Posted in Orthodontics

So, you have had your braces off for a year and your dentist asks you if you’re still wearing your retainer. What do you say? Do you know if you’re still supposed to be wearing it or not? The answer is yes. You should be wearing your retainer, and should continue to do so for as long as feasibly possible. The frequency of wear may decrease as time goes by, but even 10 years down the road you should try to wear your retainer a few nights a week.

Why should you continue to wear it? Because teeth naturally shift over time, and avoiding the use of your retainer can cause relapse in your tooth positioning. Teeth naturally shift forward to the front of the mouth as you age, and without a maintenance retainer, yours may do so even after extensive orthodontic therapy. Having a tooth pulled can increase your risk for tooth shifting, so always keep your retainer in a safe place and wear it on a regular basis.

Permanent retainers that are bonded into place behind the front teeth can sometimes fall off. A common misconception by patients is that if the retainer falls off, it can stay off. While they may be cumbersome to keep clean, bonded retainers are an essential part of maintaining tooth positioning after treatment. Similar to not wearing a removable retainer, if your bonded retainer falls off you will most likely experience relapse.

Wearing your retainer for a regular basis is the only way to prevent relapse of your teeth and avoid additional orthodontic treatment. If you find that your retainer breaks or doesn’t fit, see your orthodontist immediately. A new retainer is the only way to ensure proper alignment of your teeth. It doesn’t take very long for teeth to shift out of place without a retainer.

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