When the big day arrives and you take your brace off for the last time, you might be forgiven for thinking you are finished, your teeth are now perfect and always will be. But, of course, there is still some work to be done.

After your braces are removed, your orthodontist at the Straight Teeth Suite will recommend you use a retainer, a device that fits in your mouth and helps prevent your teeth slipping back to their former positions.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is a small, custom-made insert that needs to be worn after your braces have done their job and helps reinforce the new position of your teeth. When your braces come out, the dentist will determine when and for how long you will need to wear one each day. You may be instructed to wear the retainer at night only or to keep it in during the day as well, at least to begin with, depending on the work you have had done.

There are three types of retainer:

The Hawley Retainer: This is a thin, tongue-shaped acrylic mould that fits into your mouth while a wire holds your teeth in position.

The Clear Aligner Retainer: This looks similar to the Invisalign tray system, a thin, clear plastic device designed to fit over your teeth and hold them in position.

Fixed Retainers: Whilst the other two models can be removed, these are fixed onto the teeth. They are used particularly for the lower front dentures and have a wire, bonded to the back of the teeth, that can’t be seen.  Although a fixed retainer must be worn for life, most people don’t even notice they are wearing one.

How Long Will I Have to Wear a Retainer?

At the Straight Teeth Suite in Nottingham, your dentist will prescribe the type of retainer you need and explain when you need to wear it and for how long. The prospect of tooth relapse within the first month after braces are removed is very high without the use of a retainer, which is why you will need to follow your dentist’s instructions properly. This is the importance of wearing a retainer after braces.

Though they may reduce the time when you need to wear the device, your orthodontist is unlikely to recommend that you stop wearing your retainer altogether and you should think of it as an additional and long-term investment in your brand new smile

What if I Decide to Stop Wearing My Retainer?

If you fail to wear your retainer regularly it will lead to movement because the tissue around your teeth is unsupported when it needs to be. You might not notice a difference at first, when you look in the mirror, but over time your teeth will become misaligned again. One thing you will notice is that the retainer doesn’t fit properly afterwards.

A retainer is a valuable device that helps prevent unwanted tooth movement after your braces have done their job. At the Straight Teeth Suite in Nottingham our qualified staff will assess your individual needs and provide a retainer that will help you maintain that bright new smile.

Tags: , , , , ,