Not felt in the mouth

Mouthguards and retainers

Removable and fixed appliances for fixing the result of orthodontic treatment
Preserve a beautiful smile for years to come
Installation time — 40 minutes
from 22 000 Rub
Article Content
What are retainers?
Non-removable retainers
Removable retainers and mouthguards
How do retainers work?
How long do retainers need to be worn?
The process of fitting fixed retainers
How to care for retainers?
Which is better: mouth guards or retainers?
Frequent questions about retainers
What are some of the problems that can occur with a retainer?
Reviews about retainers

What are retainers?

A retainer — is an orthodontic appliance that fixes the teeth in the correct position, preventing them from shifting. Retainers can be removable or non-removable, visible or completely invisible.
Retainers are fitted immediately after braces are removed, but strictly after hygienic cleaning and caries treatment.

Fixed retainers

A fixed retainer — is a wire arch made of medical steel that is attached to the inside of the teeth with a special compound.
This type of retainer is most commonly used because they are completely invisible, do not feel in the mouth and do not oxidize. Non-removable retainers may come off due to mechanical impact, for example, chewing hard food. In this case, you should visit your orthodontist right away and put the retainer back in place to prevent the teeth from shifting.

Removable retainers have many advantages: they cannot be forgotten to wear — they are always on the teeth, and they are not visible and do not interfere. The main feature of wearing a fixed retainer — is the need for careful home hygiene and professional cleaning every six months at the dentist, as plaque in hard-to-reach areas around the retainer is more difficult to clear.

Removable retainers

Removable retainers are plastic mouthguards made individually from impressions of the tooth rows.

After removal of braces, it is recommended to wear the mouth guards permanently, removing them only during meals, brushing teeth or public speaking. Later, on the doctor's recommendation, the time of wearing retention structures is reduced: they are removed at night and worn less during the day.

Combined systems

Sometimes a patient is prescribed combination retainers — one tooth row is fixed with a fixed wire on the inside of the teeth, the other is recommended to wear a retention mouthguard. Or fixed retainers are first fitted and after some time they are removed and a mouth guard is prescribed.
The type of retainer, and the wearing time is determined by the doctor and depends on the specific clinical case.

How do retainers work?

Braces or aligners actively move teeth in the right direction due to the thrust of the arch and pressure on the dentition. The non-removable wire retainer does not put pressure on the teeth, but only holds them in the right position, preventing them from moving apart. Removable mouth guards differ from aligners in that they are not used with attachments (activators of tooth movement), but exactly repeat the shape of the dentition and fit snugly to the teeth, fixing the dentition.
Any retention structure will not  move the teeth, but it should keep the ligaments from loosening up and returning to their previous position until the bone tissue around it has finally hardened.

How long should retainers be worn?

The retention period is on average twice as long as wearing braces, and patients who correct their bite in adulthood — after the age of 25-30 can wear retainers for life.

The duration of retention is generally 2 times longer than wearing braces.

The length of time that retainers are worn is usually individualized and depends on the following factors:

  1. The age of the orthodontic patient. The younger a person is, the faster his ligamentous apparatus and muscles are rebuilt, thereby fixing the teeth and bite in the correct position. Patients who have braces installed in adolescence, sometimes it is enough to wear retainers from 6 months to 2 years.

  2. Bad habits. Smokers have impaired blood supply and reduced immunity, so all processes for rearranging the position of teeth and healing are slower than non-smokers.

  3. Oral health. If the teeth and periodontal tissues are healthy, the fixation of the ligamentous apparatus is faster.

  4. The complexity of the clinical case. The stronger the initial curvature of the teeth, the longer you need to wear a retainer.

The retention period should be under the supervision of an orthodontist so that he monitors the condition of the bite. In any case, you can't stop wearing retainers without a doctor's permission, otherwise your teeth may curve again.

The process of fitting fixed retainers

Retainers are placed after braces are removed on fully healthy teeth after professional hygiene. The patient may need to undergo oral hygiene after orthodontic treatment. While wearing braces, it is difficult to clean the teeth perfectly, and accumulated plaque can provoke tooth decay and tartar. Retainers should not be placed on affected teeth, as another structure in the mouth will again make hygiene difficult and worsen oral health. Also, during orthodontic treatment, the enamel may thin, so in addition to hygienic cleaning, the teeth need fluoridation and mineralization.

After the therapeutic and preventive measures, the orthodontist begins the laboratory phase of retainer fabrication.  An impression is taken of the healthy teeth and the retainer is then shaped to the desired shape of the teeth.

Before directly installing the retainer, the teeth are etched with a special solution so that their surface becomes slightly rough for better adhesion. In some cases, teeth are dissected instead of etching: a microburst is drilled on the inside to fix the retainer.
When the teeth are prepared, the retainer is installed in the desired position and secured with a composite material. The procedure is completed by grinding the material for the convenience of the patient.

The installation procedure takes 15-20 minutes and is absolutely painless. But in the early days of addiction, the retainer can rub and reduce the clarity of diction.

How to care for retainers?

Retainers, like any design in the mouth, without careful hygiene provoke the accumulation of bacteria, plaque and caries.

  1. Teeth can be cleaned with the usual toothbrush and paste, but be careful when cleaning the inside of the teeth in the presence of a non-removable retainer;

  2. If the retainer comes off, you need to visit an orthodontist and return it to its place so that an orthodontic relapse does not occur; 

  3. For careful hygiene when wearing non-removable retainers, it is recommended to use an irrigator, brushes and dental floss for cleaning in hard-to-reach places near the arc;

  4. Mouthguards should be washed with disinfectants, soap or cleaned with toothpaste at least 2 times a day.

  5. Mouthguards must be removed during meals and smoking and stored in special containers;

  6. Mouthguards cannot be washed with hot water because they deform.

  7. To strengthen the enamel, it is recommended to rinse the mouth with a fluoride solution.

After braces are removed and retainers are fitted, periodic visits to the orthodontist for check-ups and to the hygienist to maintain oral health are required.  Only at the end of the retention period can orthodontic treatment be considered complete.

Which is better: mouth guards or retainers?

Retention mouthguards and fixed retainer after orthodontic treatment are used in combination: fixed retainer from canine to canine is permanently placed on the teeth, mouthguard is worn at night. After braces are removed, we give patients 2 mouth guards: a night guard for all the teeth of the upper tooth row and a safety guard from canine to canine on the lower tooth row, which is needed if the retainer is broken and there is no possibility to make a quick appointment with an orthodontist. In terms of patient comfort, a fixed retainer is more comfortable than a mouth guard, because a week after installation, it is practically not felt in the mouth. And mouthguards are quite bulky and it is more difficult to get used to them.

Frequent questions about retainers:

Patients who are considering braces usually learn about the need to wear a retainer at the orthodontic consultation. We have collected the most common questions that patients ask about the retention period.

How long to wear a retainer?

The minimum length of time for an adult patient — twice as long as orthodontic treatment. Our recommended time frame — 5 to 10 years depending on the complexity of the case and the type of retention. Many patients do not feel the retainer on their teeth and are comfortable wearing it for life.

Can I get an MRI with a retainer?

Yes, you can have an MRI with a retainer as well as with braces, but there may be interference in the final image due to the presence of metal in the mouth.

Does a fixed retainer need to be replaced?

If the retainer has not broken or come off, it does not need to be replaced. To maintain good hygiene in the area of the retainer, a mono-bud brush, brushes, floss and regular professional hygiene will do the trick.

Is there a warranty on the retainer?

In our clinic, the warranty on the retainer lasts for 2 years. If the retainer breaks or comes off during this time, we will replace it absolutely free of charge.

Can teeth move apart when a retainer is in place?

If orthodontic treatment is completed correctly — the teeth are in the correct alignment and position, the teeth will remain in the correct position with a fixed retainer. If the retainer becomes loose or broken, it should be replaced as soon as possible, as teeth can change position even within a month.

What are some of the problems that can occur with a retainer?

The first thing a person who has had a fixed retainer fitted will encounter is getting used to it. At first, the retainer may rub on the tongue, feel too large in the mouth, or interfere with clear speech. The retainer becomes invisible in the mouth after about a week.

The next challenge for the retainer patient — is thorough home hygiene, as food debris can become lodged in the spaces between the teeth and the retainer. We recommend the use of a mono-bristle brush, brushes, floss and irrigator for home cleaning.

The retainer may break or come off due to hard foods. In this case, you should see your primary care physician for a replacement.

If tooth decay has occurred in the area of the retainer, the retainer will need to be removed and then reinserted to be treated by a therapist.

Retainer Reviews:

Good afternoon! I want to express my deep gratitude to the wonderful doctor Maria Sergeevna Mahonina!!!Five years ago, I was treated at your clinic, I came to you every time, as if for a holiday!!! Everything is always calm, tactful, polite, the service is excellent! And recently I came to you again, (I had to change the retainer)
And at the reception I found myself with an amazing doctor, Maria Sergeevna! A calm, cultured, delicate and sooooo polite doctor. I'm just impressed! Dear Maria Sergeevna, I wish you inexhaustible love for work and patients, and good health to you!


I have been wearing the retainer for about a year now and I don't feel it on my teeth at all. The first three days after I had them in, I had a little bit of a lisp and it felt very big and uncomfortable, but that went away quickly. I have never had them come off, but once bent because I ate something hard, it felt like my teeth were pulled down a bit. The clinic quickly fixed it and glued it back on again.


I recently had my braces removed and a retainer put in, the whole process took about 2 hours. The retainer doesn't bother me, I'm used to it now.

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Cost of retainers

Ретенционный период после ортодонтического лечения

На 1 зубной ряд

20 000 р.

Корректировка ретейнера, установленного в другой клинике 14 000 р.

Установка или замена ретейнера, установленного в другой клинике 22 000 р.

Ретенционная капа 13 500 р.
Updated 31.12.2023

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