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Keeping your teeth straight with retainers

Keep wearing your retainers as long as you want your teeth to stay straight.

Why is it important that I wear retainers?

Retainers are just as important as the braces used to straighten your teeth. Now that your teeth are straight, if you don’t wear your retainer, they are likely to drift back to their original positions.

If this happens, it can be more difficult to correct them a second time and will incur further fees.

Be aware!

Dogs love chewing retainers. Any loss or breakage due to carelessness will result in a charge for the replacement. When it is not in your mouth it should be in a protective box. 

How long will I have to wear my retainers?

After your treatment, you will have to wear your retainers as advised by your orthodontist. This can typically be full time for a minimum of 3 months, then nightly thereafter.

Your orthodontist will be able to provide further guidance on this... You should call your orthodontist for an appointment so they can check that your retainers are still fitting correctly, and that your teeth are still straight.

If you do stop wearing the retainers, you may experience unwanted tooth movement, though changes in the position of your tooth can continue throughout life and are part of the normal ageing process.

The only way to have permanently straight teeth is to wear a retainer nightly for life. 

Your responsibility

Remember to call us for an appointment after 3 months so we can check your teeth are still straight. If everything is as it should be, then you’ll be able to leave removable retainers out in the day and wear them only at night.

Keep wearing your retainers as long as you wish to keep your teeth straight. You must push the retainers onto the teeth as firmly as possible.

If they feel tight, then your teeth have moved and you must continue to wear the retainers during the day until they no longer feel tight again. You can then revert to night time wear only.

If tightness reoccurs at any point, then you must start full time wear again.

If you do not follow these instructions and your teeth move, the NHS will not provide the treatment necessary to re-straighten your teeth.

After 12 months of wearing your retainers, please call us to make an appointment so that we can check again that your teeth are still straight, and that your retainers are still fitting correctly. If everything is as it should be, then you will be discharged with no need for further treatment.

Your retainers will need to be replaced at some stage when they become loose or unhygienic, and you will need to pay for the replacements. If you think there is a problem with your retainer, or you lose it, please contact us immediately for an appointment to obtain a replacement.

If you decide to stop wearing your retainers for any reason, remind yourself that your teeth will move. If this happens, the NHS will not provide the treatment necessary to re-straighten your teeth. 

Don’t forget

Retainer wear is your personal responsibility.

  • The retainers provided must be worn as instructed by your orthodontist indefinitely to prevent unwanted tooth movement
  • Arrange retainer check appointments, as advised by your orthodontist
  • The practice will not be liable for any relapse in the position of the teeth if the instructions are not followed
  • Retainers must be worn at night time for an indefinite period
  • Tooth movement resulting from a failure to wear the retainers as instructed will result in a private fee to realign the teeth
  • You will need to wear retainers long-term, i.e. for life, to keep your teeth straight
  • Contact us immediately if you damage or lose your retainer
  • Continue to visit your dentist on a regular basis. It will be easier now for them to check for possible decay
  • Brush your teeth well at least twice a day
  • Avoid sugary snacks and drinks between meals and at bedtime 
Contact your practice immediately if you damage or lose your retainer.