Robert A Foster, Jr
Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
1230 Johnson Ferry Place
Marietta, GA 30068
Removable Retainer Therapy
There are two types of retainers. Both are removable devices with a plastic plate in the roof or floor of the mouth and a wire, which rests against the outside the six front teeth. It can be made for the upper or lower jaw and has clasps on the side, which help hold it in place.
When used as a retainer, it is passive with no force on the front wire or behind the teeth. It is merely a holding device to prevent the teeth from heading back to their original position. Typically, when braces are removed, the retainer is placed as soon as possible and worn all the time for six weeks or longer. Then it can be worn 8 - 12 hours for the next two years. In truth, if you don’t want your teeth to revert to their former position, you should wear your retainer every night.
The Active Retainer is made to move a few front teeth that need to go forward or backward or twist a slight amount. The retainer usually has little springs that push against the teeth to acquire movement while the outside wire can exert a force backward against these same teeth. An active retainer must be worn all the time for four to eight months to move the teeth. Once the teeth are straight, it can be worn at night as a retainer.