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Retainers

Without retainers your teeth will start to move again.

We usually recommend they are worn for life or for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight.

Retainers are used following orthodontic treatment to keep newly aligned teeth in position. Evidence shows that small tooth movements occur throughout life.

There are various types of retainer, which can either be fixed or removable, and we will suggest the most appropriate one for you.

We use the following types of retainer:

Vacuum formed retainer – this is a clear retainer which fits around your teeth and is initially worn full-time and then after a period of time at night time only. It should be taken out for eating or drinking.

Fixed retainer – this is bonded to the inside of the tooth surface, so it is not visible. Fixed retainers are used only occasionally for a few specific cases – your orthodontist will advise. For the majority of cases, fixed retainers are not required.

Why they are essential

  • They stop teeth reverting back to their original position after treatment with a brace.

The process

  • You will be provided with a suitable retainer and given instructions on how and when to wear it.
  • It is a long-term commitment to wear a retainer and we advise that retainers are worn for life.

Please remember

  • that the NHS will only pay for you to have one course of treatment – so if you choose not to wear your retainers or you stop wearing them earlier than we recommend, then you would need to pay privately for your teeth to be straightened again.
  • your retainers will need to be replaced at some point
  • we are always happy to see you to make them for you
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