Why Are Retainers Important?


Retainers maintain your teeth in position once you have finished your Invisalign or other Orthodontic treatment. This prevents your teeth from shifting or crowding or relapsing to your previous condition. Protect your investment and your new smile by following through with your retainers!

Two types of retainers: Removable and Fixed

Removable retainers are worn at night when you sleep. These are easier to clean because you can take them out, and because you can take them out, it’s easier to clean your teeth too. These retainers are a double-edged sword because since you can take them out, you may be tempted to leave them out which is a no-no. They’ll only be effective if you wear them.

Fixed retainers are like metal braces, only the wire is fixed behind the teeth so they’re not as noticeable. Fixed retainers may seem like a great option, as you do not have to remember to wear them. However, many issues arise from fixed, cemented retainers. They are very hard to keep clean, and so cause tartar buildup. This may make the teeth more prone to gum disease and tooth decay. In addition to this, the wire cement has a tendency of dislodging. When this happens, the teeth no longer cemented to the wire will start to rotate. This movement happens in less than a week. If you decide to get a fixed wire, examine it regularly to ensure all the teeth are strapped in!

How long do you need to wear them?

Retainers are forever. You wear them as long as you want your teeth to retain in their current position. It’s recommended to wear retainers nightly for the first year, and then every other night for the second year. Long term, to prevent relapse, we recommend continuing to wear 1-2 times per week.

Caring for retainers:

Hygiene plays an important role in retainer care for both removable and fixed retainers. Harmful bacteria can grow in your mouth and damage your teeth and gums. Removable retainers should only be worn when your teeth are flossed and brushed, and they themselves should be brushed with a hard bristle brush and liquid soap. You can also use a retainer cleaner like polident to soak your retainers every few months.

Fixed retainers require that you floss around them with floss feeders, which are like a needle and thread mechanism that allow you to pass the floss under the fixed retainer.

Visit Yaletown Dentistry

Yaletown Dentistry has been perfecting smiles and treating oral health since 1999. Whether you need a routine dental check-up, Invisalign orthodontic treatment, cosmetic dentistry, or a dental emergency, our Vancouver dental clinic is committed to helping.

Book an appointment online for the latest technology and updated techniques Yaletown Dentistry has to offer, including complimentary digital 3D scanning to see your smile improvements virtually in minutes. Feel free to also request a complimentary meet and greet with our dentists, to see what we have to offer.

See you soon!


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Yaletown Dentistry was one of the first dental clinics to be established in Yaletown in 1999, and is independently owned and operated. Our commitment is to you, our clients, and not a dental management company or shareholders.