International Retainer Day Date in the current year: July 19, 2024

International Retainer Day International Retainer Day is celebrated annually on July 19. It was created to highlight the importance of orthodontic treatment and encourage people to make a commitment to a beautiful smile.

retainer is a custom-made orthodontic device designed to hold the teeth in position after realignment. There are several methods of treating malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) in orthodontics: braces, headgear, palatal expansion, and jaw surgery. After treatment, more than half of orthodontic patients have some degree of relapse within a decade. Retainers were invented to prevent this relapse.

The first modern orthodontic retainer was invented by American orthodontist Charles A. Hawley in the early 20th century. It consists of an adjustable metal wire anchored in an acrylic baseplate. The wire surrounds the six anterior teeth to keep them in place, and the baseplate sits in the palate, keeping the retainer inside the oral cavity.

The Hawley retainer is the best-known removable retainer, but it has a number of drawbacks. This type of removable retainer is not particularly effective for retaining lower incisors and interferes with speech. In addition, some orthodontic patients find the Hawley retainer difficult to wear and/or are embarrassed about the device.

More modern types of removable retainer include vacuum-formed retainers (VFRs), Begg retainers, and Barrer retainers. VFRs are made using a thermoforming process. They are virtually invisible due to being transparent and don’t interfere with speech as much as other removable retainers.

Removable retainers can be taken out when you’re eating or for cleaning, but some situations require the use of a fixed retainer. Fixed retainers typically consist of a wire that is fixed to the anterior teeth. They are used in situations when a relapse is more likely.

Both fixed and removable retainers can lead to gum inflammation and tooth decay if not cleaned properly because they can act as a reservoir for food that becomes breeding ground for bacteria. Due to this, removable retainers need to be cleaned before inserting them in the mouth, and fixed retainers should be cleaned while brushing one’s teeth before going to bed.

The celebration of International Retainer Day was initiated by Vivera Retainers, a brand of clear retainers from the providers of Invisalign orthodontic treatment, in 2021. The main goals of the observance are to dispel the stigma surrounding braces and retainers that still exists despite the immense benefits of orthodontic devices, to encourage people to get orthodontic treatment, and to highlight the importance of wearing a retainer afterwards.

You can observe International Retainer Day by booking an orthodontist appointment to learn whether you need orthodontic treatment. If you’ve already had your teeth straightened, share your experience with braces and retainers online to encourage others to consult an orthodontist, and don’t forget to add a photo of your beautiful smile and the hashtag #InternationalRetainerDay to spread the word about the observance.

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