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“The final step in creating your perfect smile”

At the end of your active orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will provide retainers for you to wear. These are to ensure stability of results after active treatment is completed.

If you do not wear your retainer as recommended, you teeth are likely to drift towards their original positions. If this occurs then the only way to correct them may be to retreat with fixed appliances.

Once your appliance has been removed, Impressions are taken of your teeth in their new position and one of two types of retainers is made.


london orthodontics functional appliance

The removable retainer is, as the name suggests, can be removed from the mouth and worn as directed by your orthodontist.

There are two available options of the removable retainer. The first is made of the same materials as removable appliances. An acrylic base sits against the palate or inside of the lower arch and a wire runs over the outside of the teeth keeping them in their new position, as on upper teeth in the photo. The second type of removable retainer is a very comfortable clear guard, similar to a mouthguard, but made of a thinner material, as shown on lower teeth in the same photo.

The wear of retainers is supervised for a period of 12 months for children and 6 months for adults.For most cases longer retention time is required but this does not always have to be supervised by the orthodontist. When they are first supplied, you will be required to wear them all the time and eventually decrease wear down to night time wear. We will advise you if long-term wear is required.

Once you are in the retention phase you will not need to be seen as often as previously. Appointments will be made every 3 - 4 months to review your progress and change how often you wear the retainers. We highly recommend that you continue to see your General Dentist every 6 to 12 months to check your teeth for routine dental needs.


london orthodontics functional appliance

This consists of a small wire that is designed to fit perfectly against your teeth preventing any movement. The wire is placed on the inside of the teeth, making it invisible to other people. Using special bonding agents or “glues” it is attached to the teeth. These are very comfortable and very easy to adapt to.

If you have a fixed retainer then you will need to take extra care to keep it clean. Instructions will be given when the retainer is fitted.

If you have any problems with your retainer, ring for an appointment as soon as is reasonably possible. Do not wait for your next routine appointment as your teeth
may move whilst not wearing your retainers.


Instructions for Retainer Wear

  1. You are responsible for keeping your teeth straight.
  2. Wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist. Failure to comply may result in a relapse of your teeth.
  3. Your retainers need to be removed for cleaning and eating, as well as any contact sport including swimming. Always place your brace in box when not in the mouth, NEVER wrapped in tissue or kitchen paper as this always results in it being accidentally thrown away!
  4. When cleaning the retainer we recommend that you always fill the basin with water, this is to protect the retainer from breaking if dropped. Use a toothbrush with soap or toothpaste to clean the appliance. A Retainer Brite tablet needs to be used twice a week to sterilise the appliance.
  5. It is important you brush well three times per day and use fluoride toothpaste. If possible, carry a brush with you for use after lunch. Take the brace out to clean your teeth. You should also gently brush the brace, taking care not to damage the wires. A daily fluoride mouth rinse should be used last thing at night, after tooth brushing. Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will lead to permanent scarring of your teeth.
  6. It is advised that whilst wearing the retainer you avoid eating sugary, sticky foods and avoid drinking fizzy, sugary drinks eg: soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices as well. If you do drinks these it is advised that you rinse your mouth with water immediately after.
  7. Do not play with the retainer with your tongue as this may cause the wires to bend or the appliance to break. There may be a fee involved to repair or replace the appliance.
  8. If a piece of plastic breaks on the brace and it is NOT uncomfortable then please continue to wear until your next appointment.
  9. If you have a problem with your retainers, or worried about your teeth, contact the surgery ASAP.
  10. There is a fee payable if the retainer is damaged or broken. You will be advised of the amount when you contact the surgery.
  11. Please keep hold of the models as we may be able to use them for any breakages or replacements.
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1 a Freshford Street
SW18 3 TG

Tel/Fax: 0208 944 5545/1515

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