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Removable Retainers

The day has arrived and your perseverance has paid off, the braces are hopefully gone for good! You now have a smile you can be proud of. A great deal of effort has gone into achieving this result from both you and us.

Our part of straightening your teeth has now finished.

Keeping the teeth straight is up to you – your teeth are not set in concrete and will always have a tendency to move slightly as they settle under the influence of lips, cheeks and late growth.

The retainers you have been provided with are a vital part of the orthodontic treatment. They will keep your teeth straight if worn correctly. If you do not wear your retainers as instructed your teeth WILL move and you will not be offered a further course of treatment on the NHS to correct them.

The retainers provided are called Essix retainers. They are vacuum formed appliances custom made from the moulds that were taken of your teeth as soon as the braces were removed. They fit over the teeth a little bit like a gum shield.

They should be placed over the front teeth and then gently inserted over the back teeth using pressure from just your thumbs.

To remove, you should use your nails to dislodge one side as far back as you can get, and then move to dislodge the other side in the same manner. The rest of the retainer will then be easy to remove.

DO NOT REMOVE YOUR RETAINER FROM THE FRONT FIRST AS IT MAY SNAP.

You should wear the retainers full-time for the first 2 weeks except for eating, drinking and cleaning your teeth and any other occasion where they may be lost eg swimming, PE or games etc when they should be taken out and put safely in a brace box.

Clean them after every meal and before bed with a toothbrush and cold water. Retainer Brite can be used once or twice per week and is available from reception (use cold water only).

After the first 2 weeks go onto wearing the retainers for 12 hours evenings and night-times, keeping them in the box during the day, for a further year.

After this year, move on to wearing the retainers for night-time only.

Always remove and insert your brace as instructed.

Do not lose or break the retainers as only one set is provided on the NHS.

There is a charge for replacement retainers.

If you do lose or break your retainers please contact the practice.

Please be aware that there have been many cases where dogs have chewed retainers so please keep them away from family pets, as charges still apply.

The use of retainers should be continued indefinitely.

EVEN AFTER THIS PROLONGED RETENTION, IT IS NOT UNUSUAL TO SEE MINOR TOOTH MOVEMENTS OCCUR. IT IS RARE THAT THESE MOVEMENTS ARE SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH TO CAUSE CONCERN OR WARRANT FURTHER TREATMENT.