teeth retainers
teeth retainers

What Is a Teeth Retainer?

Retainers are the last stage of treatment, otherwise known as the retention phase. This is the most important stage of your orthodontic treatment since, without proper retention, your new smile will shift back to its original position. 

Every patient receives a clear, removable retainer upon completing braces or Invisalign. Patients more prone to relapse may require a bonded retainer as well. Whether bonded or removable, retainers are custom-made to fit comfortably over your teeth. 

Benefits of a Retainer

Maintains Teeth Alignment

Wearing a retainer helps preserve the alignment of your teeth and helps prevent shifting.

Nighttime Protection

Wearing a retainer at night provides continuous protection against nocturnal tooth movements and reduces damage caused by teeth grinding and clenching.  

Minimizes TMJ Discomfort

Retainers contribute to jaw joint stability, minimizing discomfort associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.

Types of Orthodontic Retainers

Removable Retainers

Vivera retainers are made from durable, clear plastic and customized to comfortably fit over your smile by utilizing advanced technology to create an accurate 3D scan. They are removable and require nighttime wear to prevent teeth from shifting. Vivera retainers are 30% stronger and more durable than other leading clear retainers, making them a reliable choice for maintaining your smile. 

Bonded Retainers

Bonded retainers use a thin wire permanently fixed to the back of the front 4-6 teeth on either arch to prevent teeth from shifting. Our orthodontists recommend bonded retainers for patients more prone to relapse due to severe alignment irregularities before treatment. Bonded retainers do not cover every tooth, so a removable retainer is still necessary to prevent movement.

Your Smile Protection Plan

Introducing our Smile Protection Plan – a comprehensive solution designed for everyone because every smile deserves protection. We understand that life brings unexpected twists, from misplacing your retainer to undergoing new dental work. With our Smile Protection Plan, we’ve got you covered. If your clear retainer encounters any mishap – cracks, breaks, warps, curious pets, ventures into vacuums, or no longer fits due to dental adjustments – we’ll replace them! 

Our Smile Protection Plan exclusively features Vivera retainers ensuring the highest quality in maintaining your smile. Vivera retainers are crafted from durable clear plastic and custom-fit to your smile. They are known for their strength, are 30% more durable than other leading clear retainers, and are from the same makers of Invisalign.

We recognize that replacement retainers can often be costly, and our plan was made to offer the most practical, patient-friendly, and affordable solution. Want to know the best part? It’s not just for those who have been part of the Diamond Plus Orthodontics family for braces or Invisalign; it’s for everyone! Whether you’ve had orthodontic treatment elsewhere or never started your orthodontic journey, you can still enroll in our Smile Protection Plan because safeguarding your smile should be easy, accessible, and stress-free. 

vivera retainer

Common Teeth Retainer FAQs

Do I Need a Retainer?

Yes! All patients get retainers after treatment because their teeth could move back out of alignment without them.

Why Do Teeth Move Without a Retainer?

During treatment, your bone softens as your teeth gradually move into place, and it resolidifies when your teeth are in their final position. Believe it or not, bone has memory, and your teeth want to return to where they remember before treatment. 

Do Retainers Straighten Your Teeth?

Retainers are not designed to straighten teeth. They are, however, designed to keep them in place. Wearing your retainers after your teeth have shifted will not succeed in straightening them again. 

Can I Get Retainers Without Having Orthodontic Treatment?

Yes! You can get retainers without undergoing orthodontic treatment with us. Some individuals prefer not to undergo comprehensive treatment but wish to prevent further shifting. Retainers are an excellent option in this case, providing a proactive approach to maintaining your current alignment. 

Can Clear Retainers Cause Cavities?

Clear retainers do not cause cavities; poor oral hygiene does. Proper oral hygiene requires brushing and flossing twice a day and regularly cleaning your retainers. If you do not brush your teeth before wearing your retainers, bacteria can be trapped between them, causing cavities. 

Can I Chew Gum With a Bonded Retainer?

Yes, it is safe to chew gum with a bonded retainer. However, you must ensure gum does not get stuck under the wire while chewing. If this happens often, you may want to switch to breath mints instead.

Are Retainers Painful?

When you first start wearing your retainers, mild discomfort is normal as your mouth adjusts. Discomfort should resolve quickly as you get used to them. If you neglect to wear your retainers for an extended period of time, it may be painful as your teeth may have shifted. 

Can I Wear My Retainer after 2 Years of Not?

If you haven’t worn your retainer in two years, you may try putting it back in your mouth and see if it fits snugly without forcing it. If it fits without force, you may continue to wear it nightly as previously prescribed. However, if it’s difficult or impossible to place in your mouth, contact your orthodontist about getting a new set of retainers. 

How Long Will My Clear Retainers Last?

Clear retainers, like Vivera retainers, can last up to five years with proper care. To increase longevity, clean your retainers often and store them in a case when you are not wearing them. If you notice cracks or holes in the retainers or if they no longer fit snugly, it is time to get a new set from your orthodontist. 

How Do I Care for My Clear Retainer?

Good question! When you remove your retainers, store them properly in the case so they don’t get lost or damaged (or eaten by the dog). You should also clean them daily by brushing them with a soft toothbrush and warm water or soaking them in a denture cleaner.

Are Bonded Retainers for Life?

A well-maintained bonded retainer can last for a very long time, but you may need to get a replacement on occasion if it breaks or wears out.

Can I Superglue My Bonded Retainer?

Please don’t! It is very unsafe to attempt to fix your bonded retainer by supergluing it back to your teeth. Superglue is toxic and unsafe to use in your mouth, and you may damage your teeth by directly applying it. If you need assistance with your retainer, please give us a call!