To keep your teeth in their new position and make sure your perfect smile lasts we recommend a lifetime of retention, using fixed and removable braces.
Having your braces removed is an exciting moment, but before you skip out of the door with your beautifully straight teeth, it’s important to know that without retainers they could move.
During orthodontic treatment your teeth are held in position by your braces, but once they’re removed your teeth will try to move back to their original position. Continued growth of your jaws can also encourage the teeth to move.
To help avoid any relapse we will provide you with a fixed retainer and a removable retainer, to hold the teeth in their new position. Over time your teeth will be more settled. However, this doesn’t mean you can stop wearing your retainer. We will continue to monitor your retention for 12 months after treatment before discharging you, but to guarantee your teeth stay straight and to look after your investment, retainers are a lifelong commitment. Luckily modern retainers are both comfortable and discreet.
After treatment all private patients are fitted with a fixed retainer. This is a thin stainless steel wire, which is permanently bonded behind your teeth. We usually fit your fixed retainers as soon as your braces are removed, before we take impressions for your removable retainers.
Fixed retainers are very unobtrusive and you’ll quickly forget that you have them. A fixed retainer just needs a little extra attention when you brush your teeth. We’ll show you the best cleaning techniques and advise on which brushes to use.
If you experience any problems with your retainers, please get in touch as soon as you can. We’ll always be more than happy to provide advice, and in most cases we will be able offer you a repair or new retainers.
We provide a removable retainer to every patient. Your orthodontist will recommend, or you can choose, the type of removable retainer you have. We have either the Essix Retainer that is a thin, clear gum shield, which fits perfectly over your teeth. Alternatively, we have the Hawley Retainer that moulds to the roof of your mouth and uses wires to retain your teeth.
Your removable retainers will be custom-made to fit you for maximum comfort. We’ll take moulds of your teeth after we have fitted the fixed retainer and fit your removable retainers the following week. Don’t worry if your teeth start to move slightly before the fitting – your retainers will correct any movement. A new retainer can feel very strange initially. At first speech will be affected by your new retainer, but it will get back to normal after a day or so.
Your orthodontist will advise you on how often you need to wear your removable retainers, but in most cases you’ll only need to wear them at night. Keep them safe in a container when you’re not wearing them.
Click the images to download our retainer care guides