How Long Do You Have to Wear a Retainer?

Braces are very common nowadays! Thus retainers are also, we can say both are alias. Cause retainers are generally used after braces to fix your tooth permanently which is recommended by every other orthodontist.

Retainers are very important especially if you don’t want to have braces again!

Correcting or teeth is only half the battle; the other half holds it as such; this is where braces can come in handy. Getting a person to wear a retainer can be a chore.

Do you ever visited a dentist’s clinic or have braces? If you have braces then you know very well what are retainers but if you just visited a dental clinic there you had seen a visible pair of transparent enamel, those are retainers.

Retainers are custom gadgets designed to keep your enamel in the area and come in various types.

They’re regularly prescribed after orthodontic treatment, including braces, to hold your chew in the area after it’s been reshaped or corrected.

Wearing a retainer may be irritating, however, it’s a moderate inconvenience as compared to having to undergo having braces throughout again.

But it confirms your tooth place which is a better thing.

Depending on your teeth, you can get removable and fixed retainers, or your orthodontist can recommend both, one for the upper teeth and the other for the lower teeth.

You must wear the retainer for best results

This article will cowl the fundamentals of sporting your retainer, which include how long you need to put on it each day, and the way to hold it clean, and all other things you should know about retainers.

What is Retainer?

How long do you have to wear a retainer

The Retainer is a plastic or metal part made individually for each person. No two servants are alike. They conform to the mouth and align the teeth.

The tooth retainer is mainly used in the final stage of orthodontic treatment. After removing the braces, the teeth can be restored to their original positions and the retainers can be worn overnight (if not longer) to keep the teeth upright.

Or we can say The retainer is an orthodontic aid, its function is to keep the teeth straight. They are most often used by patients in combination with braces or Invisalign, or as a follow-up treatment.

Why Do I Need a Retainer?

if Your braces have finally come off, and you are damn eager and excited to show you your new straight teeth, but your orthodontic treatment is still in progress. After removing the braces, a retainer should be worn to keep the teeth in the new position.

Here are some reasons you should prefer a retainer:

  • After removing the braces, the bones and soft tissues need time to adapt to the changes in the position of the teeth. The retainer helps to stabilize the tooth in the new position and ensures minimal tooth displacement or
  • Slings are common among teenagers and Since their bodies are still developing, they must wear retainers when their wisdom teeth break through. By using the retainer as intended, adolescents can get enough jaw space to accommodate their wisdom teeth. Regular use of the retainer can ensure that the teeth will not shift or shift due to lack of space.
  • If you have braces that correct the gap between the teeth, are severely misaligned, or have a malocclusion or malocclusion, they will take a long time to stabilize, so your teeth must remain in place even after the braces are removed. To help solve this problem, make sure the teeth move firmly into the new position until the mouth can adapt to the change.
  • Teeth tend to return to the anterior position within a few months after removing the This can be avoided by using tooth retainers. The brackets are removed.
  • If you have difficulty pronouncing certain words due to the position of your teeth, the holder can help you make the sound correctly. It can also correct a language defect called a tongue stab, which means that the tongue passes through the teeth when A special fixture called a tongue cage prevents this from happening and further guides the oral cavity to ensure correct pronunciation.

First, Why Do Teeth Shift?

As you age, your jaw will move forward and become narrower. This may cause your lower teeth to become more blocked at first.

Over time, changing your lower teeth will affect your bite and cause your upper teeth to slip.

This may be very simple and no action is required, but some people may need to remove teeth, bridges, or implants to correct the bite.

Your teeth are under various stresses all day long. Simply speaking and pressing the tongue against the teeth to make certain sounds can put pressure on the teeth.

Smiling, sneezing, and coughing all move the muscles of the face and mouth. Increase the pressure on the teeth.

These slight pressures can cause small changes in the arrangement of teeth, but these changes may be enough to make you consider using braces in adulthood.

Other more important factors may cause teeth to drift over time.

3 Types of Retainer for You to Try

Types of Retainers | How long do you have to wear a retainer

There are several types of retainers, including removable and permanent retainers. Each retainer has its own advantages and disadvantages, but each has the same goal: to protect teeth immediately after wearing braces. According to your situation, we can recommend one of the following types of retainers

  • Permanent Retainers, which are glued to the back of your teeth
  • Hawley Retainers, made of metal and acrylic
  • Essix Retainers, made of clear plastic (they look like Invisalign aligners)

Permanent Retainers

Permanent Retainer

The permanent retainer is made of solid or stranded wire and adapts to the shape of your newly straightened tooth. Wires are glued (glued) on the inside of the front teeth to prevent them from moving. They are also called fixed pins, tongue pins, or fixed anchors. They can only be removed by your orthodontist or dentist.

Orthodontists usually use them when they believe that the possibility of tooth recurrence is high or a person (such as a young child) does not follow the instructions for wearing detachable retainers. Although some will eventually be removed, usually due to excessive accumulation of plaque and irritation from gums or tartar, most will stay in place indefinitely.

Facts about permanent retainers

  • Also known as a fixed retainer or bonded retainer
  • These are known as permanent retainers because they get fixed to your tooth
  • It generally costs around 225 dollars to 550 dollars.
  • Made up of only metal wire: usually copper, nickel, titanium, or a combination of both
  • No instructions needed
  • Invisible to others
  • Easy to speak
  • Will not be lost or damaged
  • Not easy to damage by yourself too
  • Very durable and can be used for many years
  • Oral hygiene is difficult, especially with dental floss.
  • Cannot be removed, which can cause tartar and plaque to accumulate (which may cause gum disease).
  • The metal wire may irritate the tongue.
  • Teeth will move over time

How Long Do You Have to Have a Permanent Retainer?

You can wear a normal brace for 1 to 2 years; however, the validity period of these retainers is permanently retained for several years or even decades. Some people can even wear permanent retainers for up to 20 years. Although ideally, the permanent retainer should remain in place for life. Studies have shown that in most cases, patients with permanent retainers do not experience long-term side effects.

As long as good oral hygiene is maintained, the permanent retainer can be worn indefinitely without worrying about tooth decay or gum problems. But the only problem is oral hygiene is difficult sometimes.

If the patient has difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene or simply chooses a permanent device, the permanent device can be removed.

If the permanent retainer is removed, it must be replaced with a removable retainer. If the removable retainer is not worn out, no matter how old you have the permanent retainer, your teeth will start to move again.

The patient is unlikely to lose the retainer, and there is no need to worry about dental trauma during exercise, or to maintain a bright smile because the retainer fits in the mouth.

How Long Do Permanent Retainers Last?

For some people, permanent retainers can last for many years without maintenance or problems; others may find that permanent installations require regular repair or replacement.

The main factor determining the duration of the permanent retainer is the patient’s bite. If the patient tends to bite where the fixture is attached, the risk of breakage is higher.
In some patients, the permanent retainer often bites. In these cases, it is best to remove the permanent fixator (retainer) and replace it with a detachable retainer or fixator.

If your permanent retainer is broken, an orthodontist can help you repair or replace the retainer which doesn’t cost you that much for sure. On the contrary, if properly maintained, the permanent retainer can be used for more than 20 years. But they are not invincible, they can still be damaged or worn.

A permanent fixator is not exactly “permanent” because it may need to be replaced over time, but it is definitely more durable than a detachable alternative.

How to Clean your Permanent retainer and teeth?

Permanent retainers are different and difficult to clean because of their fixed nature

  • Take a 15 cm long dental floss and use a threader to thread the dental floss between your two lower front
  • Hold one end of the thread with your fingers, and hold the other end with the threader.
  • Once the floss is in place under the fixed line, simply move it up and down between the teeth to the gum line. If possible, you should carefully floss under the gum line.
  • Move the floss from the side to the next area to be cleaned, and then pull it down until it is between your teeth.
  • Repeat this process for each tooth fixed on the permanent

Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainer| Onxshadow

Also called wire retainer, it is a detachable retainer made of thin metal wire and plastic or acrylic, and its shape fits the inner side of the upper jaw or lower teeth. The connecting wire passes through the outside of the tooth to maintain alignment.

Facts About Hawley retainers

  • Just like clear retainers, Hawley retainers are also removable retainers and thus come in the category of removable retainers.
  • It is on the slightly expensive side, it usually costs between 150 dollars to 340 dollars for one side. Not for a pair
  • Hawley retainers are made up of plastic or acrylic with a hinge of metal wire
  • It is Adjustable
  • You can choose the color of the plastic individually which is another great thing
  • Do not leave any stains. Extra points to this
  • It is too durable and can be used for many years.
  • Can be easily removed during meals and oral hygiene
  • Wire visible in front of teeth which is not a good thing and looks odd
  • It may be lost or damaged easily
  • May cause excessive salivation which can create chaos
  • May breed bacteria and it is a very big concern

How Long Do You Have to Wear a Hawley Retainer?

Hawley retainers, like transparent or clear retainers, must be worn indefinitely; they are usually worn daily for the first two months and then overnight.

As Hawley retainers are also removable and adjustable retainers, it resembles clear retainers very much. And depends on your orthodontist for how long you have to wear this.

How Long Do Hawley Retainers Last?

Hawley retainers can serve you for many years. Some patients report using the same set of Hawley retainers for 10 to 20 years.
Over time, you may notice frayed and broken wires in the Hawley bracket. In addition, the acrylic attached to the back of the tooth wears out over time and eventually breaks.
If you need to replace a Hawley retainer, most orthodontists will help you purchase replacement parts.

Essix retainers (Clear Retainers)

clear retainers

These are detachable retainers, perfect for the new position of your teeth. They are also called molded retainers. (Its technical name is thermoplastic or vacuum holder)

To make this type of holder, very thin plastic or polyurethane mold needs to be heated and sucked around the mold.

Facts About Clear Retainers

  • Clear retainers come in the category of Removable retainers and have some other names too like Essix, Vivera and Zendura retainers
  • It generally costs between 100 dollars to 300 dollars, still costs less than an iPhone SE
  • Made up of either plastic or polyurethane
  • Suitable for holding teeth in place
  • Thinner and more comfortable
  • Transparent, making them “invisible” as we call it clear retainers
  • Easy to copy the shape
  • Easy to remove to ensure a comfortable fit for food and oral hygiene to keep teeth in place
  • Can be used for multiple copies of retainers
  • Easy to disassemble to maintain food and oral hygiene
  • May need to be replaced once a year.
  • If major dental work is required to change the shape or size of the tooth, a new impression and retainer may be needed.
  • Easier to peel or damage
  • May cause excessive salivation
  • May contain bacteria

How Long Do You Have to Wear a Clear Retainer?

If you have clear retainers, wear them indefinitely… for a lifetime, YES!

​On the other hand, a retainer is a more economical and long-term healing solution compared to moving your teeth to an undesired position.

​It is recommended that most patients always wear a transparent retainer for a few months and then overnight. Your orthodontist should give accurate instructions on how many hours a day the transparent retainer should be worn

Generally, in most cases, doctors prescribe us to wear clear retainers for around 4-6 months but it all depends on your orthodontist and your teeth condition

How Long Do Clear Retainers Last?

For some people, a pair of retainers can be used for several years but only a few peoples get this opportunity to use it for several years; others and almost everyone may need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. The transparent retainer will wear out over time, especially in the area covering the occlusal surface of the tooth.

If you grind or clean your teeth at night, your transparent retainer will wear out faster and you will need to replace the retainer more frequently.

And it is preferred to change retainer in between the time period of 6 to 12 months.

Merits of Retainer

Clear Retainer

  • It’s virtually invisible, so you’re more likely to wear it. That means relapse is less likely.
  • It’s less bulky and maybe more comfortable than a Hawley retainer.
  • It’s less likely to affect your speech than a Hawley retainer.

Hawley Retainer

  • The retainer can be adjusted if you need a better fit when you first get it or if your teeth need slight realignment later.
  • It’s slightly more durable than a clear plastic retainer.
  • It may be repairable if broken.
  • It can last for years if used and cared for properly.
  • The upper and lower teeth touch naturally with this type of retainer.

Permanent Retainer

  • Complying with instructions for when and how long to wear it isn’t a problem.
  • It’s not visible to others.
  • It’s not likely to affect your speech.
  • It can’t be misplaced or lost.
  • It can’t be damaged easily.

De-merits of retainer

Clear Retainer

  • It can’t be adjusted if you need realignment. It would need to be replaced.
  • If it cracks or breaks, it can’t be repaired.
  • It may affect your speech more than permanent retainers.
  • It can warp if exposed to heat.

Hawley Retainer

  • It affects your speech more than other retainers.
  • It’s more noticeable than the other types of retainers.
  • The wire may irritate your lip or cheeks initially.

Permanent Retainer

  • It may be hard to maintain oral hygiene, especially flossing, because you can’t remove it. This can cause tartar and plaque to build up, possibly leading to gum disease.
  • It’s attached, which you may not like.
  • The metal wire might irritate your tongue.

Fact: Essix retainers and Hawley retainers are removable retainers

The Stages of Wearing a Removable Retainer

In some cases, your orthodontist will place permanent retainers on the back of your teeth. Patients receiving it always wear the retainer, including when eating and brushing their teeth.

This type of holder can only be removed by the dentist, and when the patient removes it, they will get a detachable holder to wear while sleeping.

Most patients will remove the retainer while eating and brushing their teeth. We will achieve the best results when our customers wear the retainer during the following periods:

First 3-6 months: During this period, the retainer should be worn for at least 22 hours a day. They only need to be removed by brushing and flossing or eating.

Until 2 years before approval, your orthodontist will continue to monitor your progress: if you start wearing the retainer all the time, you can only wear the retainer while you sleep.

From the age of three to the end of life: From now on, you can reduce the number of times you wear the retainer. It is not a problem to skip a night or two. A good rule of thumb is to wear them at night.


There are no such precautions cause it is a mandatory process and depends on which type of retainer you are using.

Your teeth will affect your life. If you have ever worn braces, you know that the position of your teeth in your mouth will change depending on factors such as age and the use of braces.

The completion of orthodontic treatment does not mean that your teeth will stay in place.

If you do not wear the retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth will usually return to their original positions. If you do not wear a retainer, you may need to have another orthodontic operation in 10 years or less.

If you try not to wear the retainer for a few weeks or months, your teeth may shift and the retainer may stop working. Longer teeth fit.

How Long Do You Have to Wear a Removable Retainer?

How long do you have to wear a removable retainer

You will usually wear this retainer continuously for four months to a year after putting on braces, and only remove it when eating or brushing your teeth. After some time, your orthodontist will decide whether you need to wear it. Persist for a long time.

Even if your orthodontist does not notice any movement of your teeth after putting on the retainer, they may recommend that you only wear it overnight to ensure that your corrected teeth are stable. This may take months, years, or indefinite time, depending on your teeth.

How Long Does the Removable Retainer Last?

Just like for clothes, retainers are also provided by some different companies. But still, it usually lasts 6-12 months and doesn’t expect much more than 12 months, if you use it wisely the then maybe your removable retainer will last long for 1 more month.

How Long do You Have to Wear a Retainer After Braces?

After securing the retainer, you will wear it all day and night, but when you have a detachable retainer, the rules are slightly different. Depending on your specific treatment needs, you may receive different instructions.

According to the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, in the first 4-6 months after removing the braces, except for eating and cleaning, you should always wear a removable retainer.

However, a 2010 survey of orthodontists found that many people recommend wearing removable retainers for at least 9 months after removing the braces

After several months have passed and your orthodontist has cleaned it, you should be able to reduce the number of times you use the retainer every night when you sleep.

What’s the best way to keep your removable retainer clean?

Thus, the clear and Hawley retainers both come in the category of the removable retainer so the process of cleaning both is quite the same.

Make sure to clean the retainer immediately after removing the retainer from your mouth, when it is still wet. This makes it easier to remove residue before hardening.

Wash the stent with warm water after each meal. It is also recommended that you brush your teeth during this period.

For more thorough cleaning, mix warm water with mild detergent (toothpaste is abrasive and will scratch the surface of the braces). Use a soft toothbrush or fake toothbrush to remove plaque and other debris.

If necessary, use a cotton swab to penetrate the deepest groove and the groove of the transparent plastic retainers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Retainer

Do you Have to Wear a Retainer Forever?

As long as you want to keep your teeth neat, we recommend that you wear retainers.

We will never recommend that you give up wearing the retainer altogether, but over time, with the addition of a fixed retainer, you can reduce the frequency of wearing a detachable retainer.

And it’s not true you have to wear a retainer for life. It is not mandatory to wear a retainer forever but it is possible that you have to wear a retainer for a long period if your orthodontist recommends you.

When can I Stop Wearing my Retainer?

After 12 months of continuous use of the retainer, we usually recommend wearing the retainer at night, 3-5 times a week, for life. The reason we recommend this wear cycle is that the teeth slowly move forward and inward with age.

Can Teeth Shift Back with a Retainer?

The million-dollar question you can ask yourself is: Does the retainer straighten your teeth like other braces? The shortest answer is no. They do not apply a constant force for the time required to significantly change the position of the teeth.

The teeth are in place. However, it can help make small changes to the position of the teeth and bite.

If you have been neglecting the retainer for weeks or months, be sure to try to wear the retainer to see if it still fits. Grown-up. So the answer to this question is: “Can the retainer move the tooth back?” Yes, sometimes. If your retainer is not suitable or causes pain, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist for advice.

What Happens if you Stop Wearing your Retainer?

If the retainer is not worn, the teeth will slowly move to a different position, which means that the previously crowded teeth will be crowded and twisted again.

The teeth with gaps reopened. Orthodontic treatment is essential. Financial investment is in your smile.

Thousands of dollars are wasted when your teeth return and are bent or hollow. Orthodontic treatment is also an important time investment.

Some people spend years using Invisalign or braces to get their beauty. Smile directly. If you don’t take your servant, you’re wasting time

How Much do Retainers Cost to Replace?

The price of Hawley traditional retainer ranges from US$150 to US$600. The cost of replacing retainers such as Invisalign or Essix is ​​between 400-800 US dollars.

The cost of the first retainer you receive is usually included in the total cost of your orthodontic treatment.

The permanent holder is $150. 500 is used for installation or replacement. Usually, the installation of the fixing/adhesive fixture is included in the price of the bracket.

The cost of installing and purchasing a Hawley retainer from an orthodontist is more than paying from a dentist.

Can I Wear my Retainer During the Day Instead of at Night?

After wearing the retainer for half a day and eight weeks, with the consent of the orthodontist, the retainer can be worn at night. You will take them with you and clean them properly.

How long do you have to wear a retainer after braces

Generally you have to wear retainers for a time period of 4 months which can lead up to lifetime. Basically you have to wear retainers until your teeth gets fixed the way you want or at the place it should be.

How long do you have to wear a retainer after Invisalign?

The last time you release Invisalign, your teeth will straighten, but you also want to return to the previous state. At this time, the connective tissue that fixes the teeth to the jaw is still very elastic, and you only need to restore it to its original state.

Therefore, in the days and weeks following Invisalign, the retainer must be worn for approximately 22 hours a day. You need to wear the retainer for most of about six months. This number is not fixed. For some people, this period is more than six months; for others, it will be shorter; it all depends on the specific circumstances of each patient.

Do you have to wear a retainer all day?

Depends on which type of retainer your orthodontist referred you and if removable retainer is preferred then yes you can it for all day long but go with your orthodontist words first.

Final Thoughts

Wearing the retainer as directed by the orthodontist is very important to obtain the effect of the braces. Your description will vary according to your specific needs.

Some people wear the retainer all day for 4 months, and some people recommend wearing the retainer for 12 months.

As there are three types of retainers are available in the market, permanent, Hawley and clear retainers Discuss with your dentist or orthodontist (you can even get multiple opinions) the options that suit your dental goals and see which one is right for you.

Almost all orthodontists recommend wearing some type of retainer indefinitely every night after removing the braces.

Although a lifetime commitment to a retailer can be daunting, it is important to keep your investment in orthodontic treatment.

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