Retention is a vital part of your treatment. You must keep your teeth in their new position with retainers.
If retainers are not worn as instructed, teeth can drift very quickly to their old position (this is called relapse). All your hard work and that of the orthodontist will go to waste.
Retainers must be worn as instructed by your orthodontist.
Naturally, all teeth have a tendency to move during life, but wearing retainers will minimise this. You should never stop wearing your retainers; wear is reduced over time so that eventually minimal use is required (once or twice a week at night indefinitely).
The type of retainer you are provided with will depend on your original situation, and so the orthodontist will decide which is best for you. Sometimes a combination is required for many years.
This type of retainer is fixed to the inside of your teeth and can stay in place for many years. Often referred to as a “bonded retainer”.
Bonded retainers are much more difficult to keep clean. It is important when brushing that you ensure you brush the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.
These retainers can be taken out. They are clear plastic shields that cover all of the teeth in the arch. Retainers are expensive and delicate. In order to look after your retainers, you must ensure they are kept clean and safe.
When you are not wearing your retainers always keep them in your box provided to prevent any accidental damage.
Retainers should be cleaned at least once a day by brushing with a toothbrush and rinsing under cold water, do not use toothpaste as this is too abrasive. A retainer disinfectant is available from reception and should be used occasionally.