have retainers you
may have some questions you would
What is a retainer and
how important is it I wear it?
Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight and can either be removable
or fixed to the teeth. Now that your teeth are straight, if you do not wear
your retainer, your teeth are likely to drift towards their original positions.
If this happens it may be difficult, if not impossible, to correct.
How long will I have to
wear the retainers?
This will vary according to how your teeth originally looked, before the orthodontic
treatment was started. However, as a general rule you will be asked to wear
a removable retaining appliance for at least 6 months. This may mean wearing
it all the time at first, before going on to just night-time wear. You will
be advised if long term wear is required.
How might the retainer
Your speech will be different. Practice speaking with the brace in place e.g. read
out aloud at home on your own, and in this way your speech will return to normal
within a couple of days.
You may also find yourself swallowing
a lot to begin with. This is quite
normal and will quickly pass.
If you have a fixed retainer then
you will need to take extra care
to keep it clean.
Can I eat normally?
Whether you have been instructed to eat with your retaining appliance in or
out, you should take care to avoid:
- Eating sugary things such as
cakes, biscuits, and sweets, etc.
- Fizzy drinks, including diet
drinks, or excessive amounts of
What about tooth brushing?
It is important you brush well three times per day and use a 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.
Can I remove the brace?
If the brace is removable but you have been asked to wear it fill time, it
should only be removed for cleaning. When it is not in your mouth it should
be in its protective box. Do not click the brace in and out with your tongue
as this can cause the brace to break. If the retainer can’t be worn
because it is being repaired, your teeth may not remain straight.
How often will I now need
You will not need to be seen so often now the retainers are in place. You will
be advised about this.
Do I need to see my regular
Yes. It is a good idea to visit your regular dentist now that you are wearing
retainers since it will be easier to check your teeth for decay. This is particularly
so if your previous brace was fixed to your teeth.
What do I do if I play
You should obtain a new gum shield now you are in retention.
What do I do if my retainers
Ring up 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