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Post-Treatment Care & Retainers

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Retainers are orthodontic devices designed to keep teeth in place after braces are removed or to correct minor misalignments. They prevent teeth from reverting to their original positions, a process known as relapse. Here at Terenure Orthodontics we suggest two types of retainers for most cases: fixed and removable.

  • Fixed retainers consist of a thin wire bonded behind the teeth, invisible from the outside, offering a fixed solution for those who might not consistently wear a removable retainer. Often incorrectly termed ‘permanent’ retainers, it’s important to appreciate that these fixed retainers require continual monitoring and upkeep well into the future to ensure they are attached to all teeth.
  • Removable retainers include the Hawley retainer, made of metal wires and acrylic, and clear plastic retainers, like those from Invisalign, which are virtually invisible and fit snugly over the teeth. The choice between retainers depends on individual orthodontic needs, lifestyle, and preferences, ensuring the long-term success of orthodontic treatment through proper use and care.


How long should I wear retainers after braces?

Typically, it's advised to wear them full-time for several months to a year immediately after the braces are removed, transitioning to nighttime wear indefinitely.

How long does it take for a retainer to "heal"?

Retainers don't "heal" as they are not a part of the body. The adjustment period can take a few days to a few weeks.

Can I leave my retainer in water overnight?

Yes, especially if it is a removable type. This can prevent the retainer from drying out and warping.

Is it OK to start wearing your retainer after a long time?

Consult us before resuming wear. We can assess whether your retainer still fits properly or if adjustments are necessary.

Can I stop wearing my retainer after 2 years?

The decision should be made in consultation with your orthodontist. Most are advised to continue wearing their retainers at night indefinitely.

Can I eat with retainers on?

It's generally not recommended. Eating can cause food particles to get trapped beneath the retainers.

Should I wear my retainer if I haven't worn it in a while?

Check with your orthodontist before wearing it again. They can determine if a new one is needed.

Can a tight retainer damage your teeth?

Yes, if it applies too much pressure or if it's forcing the teeth back into an undesired position.

Should I still wear my retainer if it hurts?

If the pain persists or is severe, consult with your orthodontist. They can determine if the retainer needs adjusting.

How long do you wear retainers?

Initially, full-time for several months to a year, then transitioning to nighttime wear.

Do you have to wear a retainer forever?

Wearing a retainer indefinitely, typically just at night, is often recommended.

How long do teeth retainers last?

Retainers can last for several years with proper care, but might need replacement every 2-5 years.

How much does a retainer cost in Ireland?

Prices can range from €100 to €500 or more. Consult with your orthodontist for a precise quote.

Can I just get a retainer?

An orthodontist can assess your situation and advise if a retainer alone is suitable.

How much does 1 plastic retainer cost?

Typically ranges from €100 to €300, depending on the orthodontist's fees and the specifications.

How often should you get new retainers?

Replace your retainers every 2-5 years, depending on care and any changes in your dental structure.

Are retainers free after braces?

Some may include the first set in the overall cost, while others charge separately.

What if I lost my retainer and can't afford a new one?

Speak to your orthodontist. They may offer a payment plan or suggest more affordable options.

What happens if I stop wearing my retainer after 2 years?

Your teeth may gradually start to shift back to their original positions.

Can I stop wearing my retainer after 10 years?

Discontinuing retainer use risks your teeth shifting. Continuous use is crucial for maintaining alignment.

Will my teeth shift without retainer for 3 days?

A brief period without a retainer might not cause significant shifting, but slight movements are possible.

Begin Your Journey

Discuss your goals with one of our specialist orthodontists to find out what treatment option suits you best. We offer free consultations both in person and online.

Dental Council of IrelandAmerican Association of OrthodontistsIrish Dental Association LogoWorld Federation Of Orthodontists Affiliate AssociationRoyal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons LogoOrthodontics Society of Ireland
Dental Council of IrelandAmerican Association of OrthodontistsIrish Dental Association LogoWorld Federation Of Orthodontists Affiliate AssociationRoyal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons LogoOrthodontics Society of Ireland