Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on October 12, 2020
As teeth naturally move throughout our lives, we recommend wearing retainers long term. However, to allow you to stop wearing the removable night retainers after around 12 months, we also fit fixed retainers at the end of your straightening treatment. The fixed retainers stay on for as long as possible, often over 10 years.
Yes, without retainers, your teeth will move. When we carry out orthodontic treatment, both the visible part of the tooth and the roots are moved into new positions. It takes time – at least 6-8 months – for the periodontal ligaments (gum fibres) to adapt to the new positions and hold the roots in these new positions. That’s why retainers are so important, as they act as ‘holders’, allowing the teeth to settle.
Given that retainers are – believe it or not – probably the most important part of your straightening treatment, we not only fit fixed retainers but also removable night-time retainers, each custom-made to hold your teeth in place. This two-pronged approach will ensure your teeth remain straight and settle in their new positions.
Yes, we fit custom-made fixed retainers to the back of the teeth, so they’re not visible. As retention is the most critical part of your treatment, the fixed retainers are hand-made by the laboratory to hold your teeth in the same positions as when your brace was removed. Without a retainer post-treatment, your teeth will start to move back to their original position.
In terms of keeping your night retainers clean and odour free, brush them gently with a soft toothbrush and the tiniest amount of toothpaste before wearing them at night and when removing them in the morning. Use Retainer Brite or another suitable cleaning agent in the mornings to prevent bacteria build-up. We will also provide you with a retainer box for you to keep them safe during the day.
West London Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Serving patients in Hammersmith, Shepherd's Bush, and Chiswick, Dr Kyi and her team specialise in various brace options, including Invisalign. Book a consultation today.