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Why are retainers so important after wearing braces?


Talk to any orthodontist and they will tell you that wearing retainers is perhaps the most important part of the orthodontic treatment process.

What are retainers?

Retainers are removable devices which are used to keep the teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. They are usually made from clear plastic and are designed to fit your mouth perfectly. Your dentist will advise you on how long you need to wear your retainer for and how often.

Why are retainers so important?

Retainers are important because they hold the teeth in place once treatment has been completed. The role of the retainer is to keep the teeth in position and maintain the healthy bite and the appearance of the smile. The jaw bone supports the teeth and the bone tissue is softer when people are younger. This allows the teeth to move more easily, which is why orthodontists prefer to carry out orthodontic treatment during the teenage years. When the fixed brace is removed the bone tissue may be relatively soft still and the retainers will help to hold the teeth in place until the bone has become denser.

If you do not wear your retainers there is a chance that your teeth will move out of position. This is sometimes known as relapse and means that all the hard work you have put into keeping your brace clean and wearing a brace for so long might have been wasted. Wearing a retainer for a set period of time each week will help to prevent relapse and enable you to show off your incredible new smile.

How long should retainers be worn?

Most dentists urge patients who have worn braces to wear a retainer for at least 12 months to ensure that their smile stays perfect. However, it is advisable to carry on wearing a retainer now and again for a longer period of time to maximise results and prevent relapse in the future. It is well-documented that Tom Cruise wears a retainer to maintain his A-list smile.

Your Ealing dentist will advise you to attend regular check-ups after treatment so remember to bring your retainers with you. This will enable them to check that the retainers still fit properly.

Sparkle Dental Boutique 311 Boston Road Hanwell, Ealing London, W7 2AT

phone 020 8567 4344

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday:

8.30am – 5.00pm


By appointment only.