During your treatment, we will work hard to give you an incredible smile. Braces will gently move your teeth into their ideal position but for them to remain there, you will need to wear a retainer. There are several different types of retainers, bonded retainers, and removable retainers. Bonded or fixed retainers are thin strands of wire bonded to the inside surface of your upper and lower front teeth. Removable retainers are similar to the ones in the photo, either a clear aligner style retainer or one made from acrylic and wire.
Teeth have the forces of the lips, cheek, and tongue constantly pushing on them and this combined with a natural tendency for teeth to move back towards their original position, this is called orthodontic relapse, is why you need to wear a retainer if you want to maintain the smile you have worked so hard to achieve. When your braces first come off, we will ask you to wear your retainer full time for a number of months as this will help the teeth to settle into their new position. Thereafter, you can reduce your wear until you are just wearing your retainer for a few nights per week.
If your retainer ever feels tight, this is an indication that you need to wear it more often but for many of our patients, they are so used to wearing their retainer at night, this is no issue at all.
It is important that you keep your retainer clean so make sure you brush it every morning and night and a couple of times a week, soak it in a retainer cleaning solution such as RetainerBrite.
It’s important that you look after your retainer and always store it in its box when not in use. Countless retainers have been discarded when left in napkins so make sure you take good care of yours. If do manage you lose or break your retainer, just give us a call and we will arrange for you to receive a new one.