Here at Teeth-in-line it’s our job to transform smiles. This gives our patients confidence, and a smile to be proud of (as well as us)! Once the teeth are straight of course we want to keep them that way so that our patients will have straight teeth for the rest of their lives.

To keep straight teeth we need to retain the result with retainers. Retainers are fitted at the end of orthodontic treatment after the braces are removed. They can be either removable, fixed onto the teeth, or a combination.

We often get patients coming to us that have had treatment as a teenager but their teeth have moved! Usually this is down to the patient not wearing their retainers as needed and their teeth have relapsed.

So lets take a look at retention! Retention, Retention, Retention! We thought it might help for patients to understand the importance of retainers in order to keep their teeth straight and the reasons their teeth may move unless they are worn.

Reasons for wearing retainers:

  • Teeth tend to want to move back towards their original positions because they have a memory. This is called relapse

  • As we get older our teeth may start to move unpredictably, regardless of previous orthodontic treatment, often showing some crossing over and increase in crowding

  • Movements your jaw and facial muscles make every day of your life stretch and contour your mouth. Your tongue is also a very powerful muscle, pushing against your teeth continuously as you form words

Retainers are essential in almost all cases to help prevent the teeth moving once the braces are removed. All of our patients are provided with retainers and long term advice to keep their teeth in the desired position. If you do not wear these retainers then your teeth can go crooked again, and the hard work in wearing the braces will be lost. You should only go ahead with orthodontic brace treatment if you are also happy to wear retainers to keep the result at the end.

Types of retainers

There are lots of different types of retainers. The most common types of retainers used at Teeth-in-line are the vacuum-formed retainer, and the bonded retainer. The choice of retainer is affected by a number of different factors and your orthodontist will explain which retainer is best for you. Sometimes you will be recommended to wear more than one type of retainer to reduce the chances of the teeth relapsing.

removable vacuum formed retainer to keep straight teeth



This clear retainer is usually worn on a part-time basis. Initially it grips your teeth firmly, but most patients adapt very well to this type of retainer.

Bonded retainer to keep straight teeth

This  fixed type of retainer is stuck onto the teeth – usually hidden on the inside of the teeth, so it is not visible. The advantage is that you don’t need to remember to wear this retainer (as it stuck in full-time). However, you must spend extra time cleaning around it and if it ever gets loose, you should seek advice.
Instructions for retainers
Each type of retainer has its own set of instructions and your orthodontist will give you the instructions for your particular retainer. It is really important you follow these instructions to keep your teeth straight. The instructions will help to reduce the chances of your teeth relapsing, and will also help to make sure that the retainers do not cause any damage to your teeth and gums.
If you require more information on retainers or wish to find out more about our Orthodontic treatments here at Teeth-in-line please contact us on 01908 399980/619060 or email us at treatmentcoordinator@teethinline.co.uk