Retainers won’t be the most exciting part of your orthodontic treatment, but they’re vital for maintaining a straight smile – so neglect them at your peril.
When your braces are first removed, your teeth will have a tendency to drift back towards their original positions (orthodontic relapse). Over time your bone will remodel around your teeth, making them more secure. However, the connective tissues that were stretched during your treatment will continue to pull on your teeth and threaten your results.
Thankfully, we can keep your smile in line using fixed and removable teeth retainers. Their sole purpose is to stop your teeth from moving.
Fixed retainers consist of thin wires, which are discreetly bonded behind your front teeth to hold them in place. They’re very unobtrusive and designed for long-term wear to ensure long-term results.
Your fixed retainers should be worn indefinitely and will require very little maintenance. Just make sure you clean around them carefully using special floss or an interdental brush. You should also see your dentist for regular dental health checks and hygienist appointments.
Removable retainers are custom-made to fit your teeth in their new positions. You won’t need to wear your removable retainers day and night, but it’s important to wear them regularly as instructed by your clinician.
You’ll need to keep your retainers clean by gently brushing them with your toothbrush (without toothpaste) and rinsing them with water after use. We can provide retainer cleaning tablets for a more thorough clean. When you’re not wearing them, keep your retainers safe in a protective box. For extra peace of mind we can arrange to have a spare set made for you.
With a little dedication orthodontic relapse should be avoidable. Unfortunately, many of our patients weren’t give the right support the first time round. If this sounds familiar, we have a range of discreet braces that can help. Invisalign Express uses clear aligners to straighten mild orthodontic relapse in just months.
To learn more about your options for tackling orthodontic relapse, book your free no-obligation consultation*
Your clinician will advise you on which type of retainer is best for you, but ultimately it’s your decision. Usually we recommend both fixed and removable retainers.
If you misplace or break your retainer, get in touch with the orthodontist or dentist who carried out your treatment as soon as you can. Otherwise your teeth could start to move. You can find more advice in our blog article Lost your retainers? Here’s what to do. Please note, we only offer retainer repairs or replacements to existing patients.
It’s probably a sign that your teeth are moving and you’re not wearing your retainer often enough. Wearing your retainer for longer and more frequently should resolve this problem.
Yes, we can organise a second removable retainer for extra peace of mind.
A fixed retainer shouldn’t affect your speech. A removable retainer could give you a slight lisp, but this should quickly improve.