Keeping teeth in line.
Following orthodontic treatment, we always recommend you wear a retainer to prevent teeth drifting back to their former position.
These are similar to very thin gum shields and, as they are custom-made, they fit very snugly over your teeth to keep them in position.
The risk of movement is highest just after your braces have been taken off, so during the first six months after removal, you should wear your retainer every night. After this time, we will check your bite and teeth, and let you know whether you can reduce the length of time you need to wear your retainer.
You should ensure your teeth are thoroughly cleaned before wearing your retainer. You also need to keep the retainer itself clean and fresh, using a firm toothbrush and cold water. Don’t use toothpaste as it may cause the retainer to discolour or become brittle, and hot water may distort it.
We will provide you with a handy storage box so you can keep your retainer safe and secure when you’re not wearing it.
A fixed retainer is a thin metal wire bonded to the back of your upper or lower incisor teeth and occasionally this can extend onto the canines. It is an unobtrusive and reliable way to keep your front teeth perfectly in line.
If orthodontic treatment is carried out while you are still a teenager, a fixed retainer will be kept in place until you have stopped growing, usually at around 21 years old. If you have treatment as an adult then the fixed retainer should be left in place indefinitely or at least for as long as possible.
It’s important to brush over your retainer as part of your normal oral care routine and you can also use a special type of floss (Superfloss) between teeth. Thorough cleaning will prevent the build-up of plaque around the retainer, which could lead to tooth decay and gum disease.