What are dental retainers?


At Dentistry with Care Chatswood we may recommend retainers for patients who have undergone orthodontic treatment. The aim is to maintain the new, straight alignment of their teeth.

There are two types of retainers: passive and active retainers.
  • Most retainers are passive. The teeth have already been aligned by orthodontic treatment and retainers are used to maintain the alignment. There is no force on the teeth.
  • Active retainers do have mild force on teeth and the aim is to provide minor detailing of a final orthodontic treatment.

Who needs them?

Retainers can be recommended for patients who have had misaligned teeth corrected and where the teeth may return to their original alignment. Most of the time, this misalignment has been found in young teenagers once their permanent adult teeth have emerged.

You may want to consider this approach for:

  • Straight teeth for a beautiful, confident smile
  • Healthier teeth and gums
  • Reduced wear and tear on teeth

See also: Invisalign

How do they work?

Retainers are meant to apply pressure on the teeth. This is done to move them in accordance with the shape of the jaw and oral cavity. This pressure helps the bone to maintain its changed shape, which then affects the movement of the teeth.

How often do I need a check-up?

You need to have regular check-ups so that we can examine the appliance along with your teeth. We will check that there are no cracks and keep track of how the patient is using the retainers. In addition, we might also find the need to increase or decrease the amount of pressure on your teeth to achieve the desired results. Of course, this also gives the patient the chance to ask any questions and stay involved with their treatment and long-term dental outcomes.

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