Braces (Dental)

  • Medical Author:
    Donna S. Bautista, DDS

    Dr. Donna S. Bautista, DDS, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and cell biology. During her time at UC San Diego, she was involved in basic research including studying processes related to DNA transcription in the field of molecular biology. Upon graduation, she went on to attend dental school at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to her formal dental training, she provided dental care for underserved communities in the Bay Area through clinics and health fairs. She also worked toward mentoring high school students interested in the field of dentistry.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Shocking Diseases of the Mouth

Quick GuideCosmetic Dentistry Before and After Photos

Cosmetic Dentistry Before and After Photos

What happens after braces come off?

Once braces come off, more records (molds and X-rays) are taken to evaluate the end result. Additionally, plans for a dental retainer are made to keep the newly-positioned teeth in place. Without a retainer, the teeth can shift. There are usually two types of retainers -- removable or fixed. A removable retainer is made of acrylic and metal wires or a clear rigid plastic tray and can be easily removed for ease of brushing and flossing the teeth. A fixed retainer is usually bonded to the back ("lingual") side of the teeth. The advantages of this type of retainer are that it cannot be lost and it is more effective in retaining teeth position. Typically, retainers need to be worn full-time after braces are removed for a period of time and then, for removable retainers, followed by part-time wear at night indefinitely. For adults completing orthodontic treatment, retainers usually need to be worn for a lifetime. The dentist or orthodontist will recommend how long to wear the retainers as each case is different.


Bailleau, A., et al. "One phase or two-phase orthodontic treatment: comparisons." L'Orthodontie Franchaise 83.4 (2012): 289-296.

Fleming, P. S., et al. "Self-ligating brackets in orthodontics. A systematic review." The Angle Orthodontist 80.3 (2010): 575-584.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/17/2015

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

  • Braces - Cost

    How much did your braces cost? Did insurance cover the treatment?

    Post View 1 Comment
  • Braces - Pain

    Do you have mouth pain because of your braces?

  • Braces- Types

    What type of braces do you have?

  • Braces - Procedure

    Please describe your procedure for getting fitted with braces.

  • Braces - Age

    What is the best age to get braces?

  • Braces - Cleaning

    Is it hard to keep your teeth clean with braces?


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors