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What are retainers?

After orthodontic treatment with braces, retainers help cement your teeth’s new positions and prevent them from shifting back into their old positions. Retainers are custom-created for your mouth using plastic or metal materials. While we frequently utilize retainers as part of an orthodontic treatment plan that includes braces, we also recommend retainers to help with certain speech problems and closing small teeth gaps.

Types of retainers

We recommend removable and fixed retainers for orthodontic treatment. Removable retainers are simple to remove from your mouth; you’re allowed to take this type of retainer out when eating or brushing and flossing your teeth. Fixed retainers are bonded to your teeth. If you’re worried about forgetting to use your retainer or simply don’t want to deal with removing it, a fixed retainer is a terrific alternative. It is more difficult to brush and floss your teeth with a fixed retainer.

What can you expect when using a retainer?

When you first use a retainer, you may need to wear the retainer all the time. Over time, you might be able to reduce your retainer usage to nighttime hours. Your retainer may feel uncomfortable at first, but your mouth should get used to it after a few days. It might be difficult to speak with your retainer, but this usually quickly subsides. Let us know if the retainer is painful to wear or rubs against your gums; this means that something is off with the fit or placement.

What are the benefits?

Retainers have several benefits that make them an important component of your orthodontic treatment:

Retainers maintain the alignment of your teeth

Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean and encourage optimal oral health. Regularly using your retainer helps keep your teeth in positions that decrease your chances of experiencing tooth decay and infection. You’ll also find it easier to bite and chew your food.

A retainer reduces tongue thrust

Some patients have an unconscious habit of thrusting their tongues forward when talking or eating. Over time, tongue thrusting can push your teeth forward and undo the effects of your braces. Retainers prevent tongue thrusting from affecting the placement of your teeth.

Retainers continue to improve your smile and teeth

When you’re through wearing braces, you may have a few minor gaps in your teeth. Your retainer will continue to adjust your teeth so that these small gaps disappear. This will improve the alignment of your teeth and enhance your smile so that you feel confident about your teeth and appearance.

Retainers in Queens & Brooklyn, NY - Downtown Braces & Children's Dentistry

Retainers, Queens & Brooklyn, New York


A retainer helps rebuild the bone that holds your teeth in place so it can prevent your teeth from moving.

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