05 May 2014

Retainers..Why do I need to wear them after braces or Invisalign?

Retainers…..Full Time?……And to Bed Lifetime? Why after I get my braces or Invisalign off, do I need to wear my retainers?


At Moshiri Orthodontics in St. Louis, when every single patient completes their braces or Invisalign treatment, they are instructed to wear their retainers 1 year full time and to bed lifetime. For many patients, this may seem a bit extreme, but there are many reasons why it is NECESSARY!

What are retainers: First of all, retainers (hawley retainers) are acrylic and wire appliances custom fitted for both the upper and lower arches to provide full coverage protection for the newly created arch forms. Retainers come in a variety of colors and designed specifically for each patient’s mouth.

Why are retainers needed: Retainers are made to stabilize your new bite and arch forms. They hold your teeth in their newly established positions. Retainers help to allow your muscles and tissue to adapt to the new position that your teeth are in and to allow the periodontal ligaments and bones to “heal”. The bone and ligaments need time to strengthen up and heal from the many months of active tooth movement.

When can retainers be removed: During the first year of retainer wear, they are ONLY to be removed when eating, cleaning/brushing of your teeth and during any contact sport (due to the possibility of loss or breakage). After the first year of faithful wear AND upon the approval by Drs. Moshiri, you may graduate to night time wear for life. This means that every night, wearing your retainers will help protect your arch forms.

What about other recommendations: At Moshiri Orthodontics, it is basically a LAW for all of our patients who have completed comprehensive orthodontic therapy with either braces or Invisalign to wear retainers one year full time and then to bed for life. Success can only be accomplished with great patient cooperation and great retainer wear. NO EXCEPTIONS!

Even though you may find your retainers can cause minor lisping or creating extra saliva, you will get use to them and will be very grateful in the end. A beautiful smile is worth it in the end.

For more details on your retainers and how to take care of them, visit moshtransfer.wpengine.com for the retainer instruction sheet.

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