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Retainers form part of orthodontic aftercare. They are typically used after an orthodontic device, such as braces, to help prevent your teeth from shifting or becoming misaligned.
Retainers can be permanent or removable. The one you receive will depend on your condition, dental health and orthodontic device. You may even receive a combination of the two.
Permanent retainers involve a simple metal wire cemented to the back of your front teeth to prevent them from moving. They are most commonly used on the bottom teeth and provide a relatively low-maintenance experience.
Removable retainers can be removed easily, allowing for more efficient dental hygiene. However, they can be uncomfortable and make eating and speaking difficult. Relapse is also a common issue with removable retainers, as they can get lost or break.
There are two options for removable retainers: Wire retainers and clear plastic retainers.
Wire retainers, also known as Hawley retainers, have a thin metal wire that fits over the front of the teeth and a plastic palette shaped to complement the roof of your mouth.
Clear plastic retainers fit like mouth guards but are much more subtle and light. We use a mould of your teeth to create the shape.
Are you intrested in Retainers?
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The length of time a retainer must be worn will vary for each person. We will advise you on this when your retainer is fitted. However, we encourage our patients to wear their retainers until their jawbone has stopped growing and is settled around the newly aligned teeth.
Your daily hygiene routine will vary depending on your type of retainer. Permanent retainers require extra special dental care as they make flossing difficult and can cause a build-up of plaque. Therefore, it's essential that you stick to a strict dental hygiene routine and visit us regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
Removable retainers need to be cleaned separately from your usual dental hygiene routine. We will advise you on the best practices for this, but remember to brush and rinse it daily and keep it dry in its case when not in use.
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