How to look after your retainers
Retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment journey. Once your braces have been removed, we advise you wear a retainer to keep your teeth in their new straight position.
What are retainers?
Retainers can be in the form of plates that can be removed, or a fixed wire on the inside surfaces of the teeth.Usually, a removable plate is used for the upper teeth and a fixed wire on the inside of the lower front teeth.
Who needs retainers?
Everybody who has orthodontic treatment needs to retain the teeth to prevent relapse.In reality teeth that are in the wrong position can be aligned; however, they will always have the tendency to move back towards their original position. Retainers prevent tooth movement from occurring.
How often do I need to wear retainers?
When your braces are removed, you will need to wear your retainer at all times. After a period of time, you will then only need to wear it at night. We will let you know at what stage you can do this.
We recommend our patients wear retainers at least until growth has fully ceased. Many people are now happy to wear their retainers on an occasional basis each week for life. This is the only guaranteed solution to prevent any unwanted tooth movement.
What if my teeth move?
If you follow instructions and wear your retainers, your teeth will not move.If some movement does occur, sometimes the retainers themselves can fix this, but often you may need further treatment with braces. This will be classed as a second treatment and charges will apply. It is better to wear the retainers as instructed!
What if my retainers feel tight?
This is a classic sign that you are not wearing them as instructed. If they sit properly, it is as simple as wearing them more regularly, but if they do not fit, you must see us as soon as possible.
What if my retainers are loose?
If your retainers are loose, this may mean the wire clasps need tightening. You will need to make a follow-up appointment for this to be fixed.