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  • Careers

Dental retainers

Fixed and removeable appliances designed to preserve your smile after teeth straightening treatment.

What is a retainer?

It's natural for your teeth to move after orthodontic treatment, a dental retainer, or tooth retainer, is a dental appliance that fits over or behind your teeth to keep them from shifting and changing position after treatment.

What are the different types of retainer?

Retainers fall into two categories - fixed or removeable. At mydentist, we offer a diverse selection of to maintain your smile after treatment. Your clinician will discuss your options with you, making their recommendation for the appliance that will best suit your needs.

This could be a removeable appliance, like a clear aligner, that you wear while you sleep, or, it could be a fixed appliance, like a brace, that is fitted to the back of the teeth. In some cases, you may need to use a fixed appliance and a removeable appliance together to ensure your teeth don't shift.

Retainer best practice


Wear your retainer as directed by your clinician.


Make sure you clean the appliance thoroughly to keep it free of food or plaque.


Handle your appliance with care and in the case of a removeable appliance, store with care in a dedicated case.


Retainers are easy to lose; if you take them out remember to place them in your retainer case for safety.

Retainers FAQs

How do I clean a removeable retainer?

  • Rinse your retainer with warm water after eating and before brushing your teeth.
  • Use a toothbrush to gently brush your retainer with a small amount of gentle dish soap or baking soda.
  • A cotton swab is helpful when cleaning the nooks and crannies of your retainer.
  • Soak your retainer in warm water, baking soda, and white vinegar or Castile soap once a week.
  • Keep your retainer in a storage case when you are not using it.
  • Visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly for check-ups and professional cleaning. They can monitor the condition of your retainer and your teeth and make any adjustments if needed.

How do I clean a fixed retainer?

  • Brush your teeth and your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Make sure you brush the front, back, and sides of your teeth and the wire of your retainer.
  • Floss between your teeth and under the wire of your retainer every day. You can use a floss threader or a water flosser to make it easier. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles that can get stuck under your retainer and cause decay or gum problems.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after every meal or snack. This helps wash away any food debris or bacteria that may be left on your teeth or your retainer.
  • Visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly for check-ups and professional cleaning. They can monitor the condition of your retainer and your teeth and make any adjustments if needed.

What are the benefits of a retainer?

  1. Preserving the alignment and stability of teeth following orthodontic treatment.
  2. Help reduce the need for possible future treatment.
  3. Retainers are generally not visible on the front or sides of the teeth.
  4. Retainers are generally inexpensive to replace or repair.

How long do I wear a retainer for?

Retainers are utilised to hold your teeth in their new position until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions.

Your clinician will determine how long you need to wear your retainer, in some cases, permanent retention maybe necessary or advisable. In others, you may only need to wear your retainer for a fixed amount of time.

How much will my retainer cost?

In the case of adults, straightening solutions and aftercare options like retainers are considered a cosmetic procedure and are not offered through the NHS. Children can sometimes access publicly funded orthodontic treatment, though this is offered on a case-by-case basis depending on the condition of the teeth.The cost of your retainer will vary depending on which retainer you need. If you require both a fixed and removable appliance, this may cost more.

At mydentist, we believe everyone should have access to the dental care they need, even if it is for cosmetic purposes. That’s why we offer a range of competitive prices and finance options to make sure as many people as possible can experience the benefits of a suitable retainer after their orthodontic treatment has concluded.

Is wearing a retainer uncomfortable?

Wearing your retainer shouldn’t cause you any discomfort. When you first have your appliance fitted it is natural be conscious or aware of the appliance, it may even feel a little uncomfortable, but this should lessen in a few days.