Looking after your retainers

retainers care

Retention is possibly the most important part of your treatment.

Congratulations, by now you will have finished your treatment. Your braces or aligners will have been removed and you will have been left with a fabulous new smile. Now, the really important part begins. Keeping your teeth in their new, straight position is the job of retainers and looking after your retainers is your job! 

What are retainers?

There are two different types of retainers: removable retainers and bonded or fixed retainers. Both do the same job and that is, keeping your teeth straight.

Removable retainers: These retainers look like thin mouthguards and sit over your teeth, holding them in place. They are usually worn for a minimum of 12 hours per day for the first few months, and then at night thereafter.

Bonded retainers: Also known as fixed retainers, bonded retainers are made up of thin pieces of wire which are glued behind your front teeth. They are left in place indefinitely, provided you maintain good oral hygiene. When wearing a bonded retainer, it is important you see your dentist regularly, particularly if the wire breaks or comes away from the back surface of your teeth.

How long do I have to wear a retainer?

Your retention will normally be monitored for two years after the completion of treatment. Once this period is up you will no longer require orthodontic appointments but it’s important to be aware that your teeth may continue to move slowly over time. This is just a natural part of aging. The only way to prevent this movement is to continue to wear removable retainers or to have your bonded retainers replaced.

Top tips for looking after your retainers

  • Gently scrub your retainer under cold water with your toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Always place your retainers in the case provided when not inside your mouth.
  • Be careful not to flex your retainers
  • Pet dogs and cats love the smell of your saliva so make sure your retainers are out of reach.

If your retainers break (due to mishandling), are lost, or eaten by your family pet (yes, this does happen!), you will require a new replacement retainer. The cost for replacing a single retainer is $158.00 or $258.00 for two retainers.


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