Retainers are used to hold your teeth in their new position after you have completed a course of orthodontic treatment with braces. They are necessary because even after orthodontic treatment, your teeth can move out of position, as part of growing up or as part of the ageing process.
Retainers ensure that teeth are stabilised in the ideal position they have been moved into during your course of orthodontic treatment. Your jaw bone, gums and surrounding structures will eventually adapt to your teeth's new position, and using a retainer gives them the opportunity to do so. Wearing your retainer as instructed is the best way to ensure your teeth stay where you want them, and give you a smile to be proud of.
Fixed retainers are designed to stay in your mouth for a long period of time. They are made from a very thin piece of wire that is glued with a special bonding material to the back of your teeth. Because the fixed retainer is attached to the back of the teeth, they are invisible when you smile, so nobody need know that you are wearing them. They also alleviate the problems of removable retainers, including not wearing them for long enough, forgetting to put them in, or difficulty in keeping them clean.
Fixed retainers are made to uniquely fit your teeth. It does not hurt to have them fitted, although in some cases it may take a few days for your tongue to get used to the presence of the retainer. There may also be a slight impact on your speech, but both of these problems will resolve themselves within a few days.As with braces, it is important to follow the care and cleaning advice we will give you for your fixed retainer. The most important thing to do is to ensure you are brushing your teeth correctly, to avoid plaque or tartar forming around the fixed brace. This can lead to tooth decay if you fail to brush properly. We can also give you hygiene and maintenance advice so that you can clean between your teeth without the retainer being damaged. Back to Orthodontics