Keep your smile straight
If you’re going to the effort of straightening your teeth, you’ll want your results to last. We provide all our patients with retainers at the end of treatment to do just this.
Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in their new positions after braces. They’re a vital part of orthodontic treatment and you’ll need to wear them for life.
Why do I need to wear retainers?
If we remove your braces and leave your teeth to their natural devices, there’s a good chance they’ll move. Not so long ago, patients would be advised to wear their retainers for a year or two. Now we know that’s not long enough.
There’s the potential for your teeth to move throughout your life. So, if you only want to wear braces once, retainers are a lifelong commitment.
Types of retainers
We provide all our patients with removable retainers. If you pay privately for your treatment, you’ll benefit from fixed retainers too. Both types of retainers are very discreet and will quickly fit into your daily routine.
Removable retainers (pictured below) look a lot like Invisalign aligners. They fit perfectly over your teeth to stop them from relapsing. You’ll need to wear them fulltime when your braces are first removed (when your teeth are most at risk of moving). Eventually, you can start wearing them just at night to maintain your results.
When we take your braces off to reveal your new smile, we’ll take impressions of your teeth. The lab will turn these into your custom-made retainers, which will arrive back at the practice around a week later. If your teeth shift very slightly in the meantime, your new retainers will push them back into position.
We’ll make sure your retainers fit comfortably and show you how to take them in and out. We’ll also give you some tips on how to keep them clean.
We’ll fit your fixed retainers straight after we remove your braces. We’ll attach thin wires behind your upper and lower front teeth to keep them under control. They may take a day or two to get used to, but fixed retainers are virtually undetectable and you’ll soon forget they’re there.
One thing you’ll need to remember is to brush and floss around your fixed retainers. You won’t be able to floss with regular dental floss or tape. You’ll need to use interdental brushes, special orthodontic floss or a water flosser.
What happens if I lose my retainers?
If your retainers get damaged or go astray, you’ll need to replace them pronto. Contact us immediately and we’ll arrange an appointment to repair or replace your retainers. If you leave it too long, your teeth could start to move. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to straighten your teeth again without braces.
Retainers for life
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you of the merits of retainers. We don’t provide treatment without them. If you’re shopping around, always make sure your quote includes retainers. Otherwise, your new smile may not stay around for long.