Many people think their orthodontic treatment is complete when their braces come off or they’ve finished with their aligners. Most often, however, a retainer plays an important role in the completion of an orthodontic treatment plan. Retainers hold your newly moved teeth in place. We also use them to prevent teeth from moving as a natural consequence of aging. Retainers aren’t an afterthought. They’re an integral part of your orthodontic care. Careful and correct use of a retainer can prevent the need for additional orthodontic treatment later in life. That can be an important consideration, especially if your dental insurance plan caps your lifetime orthodontic benefits. Besides keeping your teeth in place, retainers tend to generate a lot of questions from patients! Getting your questions answered is important, because during the retention phase of treatment, you may not see your orthodontist frequently. It’s important that you know what your retainer does, how to care for it and what to expect from it.