Now that your braces are off you will need to wear a retainer. There are many different kinds of retainers, but your orthodontist will decide which is best for you.
A base plate retainer is the most common type. These are made up of a base plate that covers the roof of your mouth, and a wire that goes across your front teeth to control their position. These retainers are designed for your upper teeth.
For your lower teeth, fixed retainers are sometimes used. This type of retainer is not removable and consists of two pads that are cemented to your lower canine teeth, held in by a supporting wire behind your teeth.
A removable lower retainer may also be used. In certain circumstances we will use a clear plastic retainer, which covers the entire surface of your teeth.
Using your retainer
How often you need to wear your retainer will depend on the type of retainer you have been given. Your orthodontist will advise you on the correct use of your retainer and, just like with the rest of your treatment, it is important you follow these instructions carefully.
You may need to wear your retainer as close to full time as possible for the first three months (or longer as advised by your orthodontist). After this time, you will only need to wear it at night time. Following this initial period, we will gradually reduce the amount of time you spend wearing your retainer. Do not do this yourself, your orthodontist will advise you when you can reduce the amount of time you should wear your retainer.
After each meal, when you brush your teeth, you should clean your retainer. Take your plate out and give it a good scrub, using cold water, toothpaste and your toothbrush. Never use hot water; this might change your retainer’s shape, meaning it will no longer work.
You will need to take your retainer out when swimming or playing contact sport. While it is out of your mouth, it should be kept in the retainer box we have given you. Make sure you don’t put it in your pocket or wrap it in a tissue, as it may get broken or thrown out.
It’s also very important not to leave your retainer lying around if you have a dog - they find retainers very tasty!!
Retainers can be sterilized periodically with Milton solution (available at the pharmacy).
Always bring your retainers with you when you come into our clinic.
Always wear your retainer as instructed; although your braces are off, this is one of the most important parts of your treatment.
You may speak differently for a couple of days, but you will soon get used to your retainer and speak normally again.
If your retainer becomes loose or you break or lose it, please call our receptionist to arrange the appropriate appointments. There will be an additional fee for lost or broken retainers.