Care of the retainers

Care of the retainers

Instructions on Vacuum Shaped Retainers (Essixes)

Now that your teeth are straight your retainers and the frequency you wear them are a very crucial part to maintain your straight teeth and your correct bite. If you do not follow these instructions your teeth WILL move!
You can now use your normal toothbrush as opposed to the brace toothbrushes you used when you had your braces.

When do I wear these retainers? You wear your retainers for the first two to four weeks FULL TIME, 24 HOURS, day and night including when you are sleeping. After that you need to wear them at bedtime only, until your orthodontist advises you otherwise. You should not cut down wearing them unless advised by your orthodontist.

When can I take them out? You can take out your retainers on the following occasions:
1. When you are eating
2. When you are drinking
3. When you are brushing your teeth
4. During contact sports only
5. When you are swimming

How can I make sure I do not lose or damage them? You need to either make a hard box for them or you can buy one from the reception. When the retainers are out of your mouth, even for a few minutes, you must put them in the box otherwise you will lose or break them. There will be a charge for making new retainers. Your teeth will get crooked again without them. The common mistake is to put your retainers in your pocket or wrap them in tissues. Do not leave your retainers within reach of dogs even when in the box. They love to chew them! If your teeth move, you may need to wear braces again for which you may have to pay.

How can I clean them? On a daily basis, you need to rinse them under cold water. They should not come in contact with warm water and you should not brush them with a toothbrush as they get distorted. If you would like to, you can use a soft brush like a small cooking or paint brush to clean them. You need to use a special cleaner like “Retainer Brite ®” at least once a week. It comes with instructions and you can buy it from the reception. Currently, it is difficult to get hold of them from the pharmacies.

Do I need to come back to check my retainers? Yes! You usually come back in 3 months time to have your teeth and your retainers checked. Please make sure you attend your appointment as if you miss your appointment, we will not contact you to make a new one. If there are any problems with your retainers you need to contact the practice ASAP! Remember, if you do not wear your retainers even for a short period of time, your teeth will move!
Remember to always bring your retainers to your appointments even if you have chosen not to wear them. Your retainers must be checked in your mouth every time you come.

Instructions on Wire Shaped Retainers (Hawleys)

Now that your teeth are straight your retainers and the way you wear them are a very crucial part to maintain your straight teeth and your correct bite. If you do not follow these instructions your teeth will move out of alignment!
You can now use your normal toothbrush as opposed to the brace toothbrushes you used when you had your braces.

When do I wear these retainers? You wear your retainers all the time, 24 hours, day and night including when you are sleeping and when you are eating. Your orthodontist tells you when you can cut down wearing them. Remember to wear your retainers tightly against your teeth. A loosely fitted retainer will not keep your teeth straight!

When can I take them out? You can take out your retainers on the following occasions:

1. When you are drinking acidic juices
2. When you are brushing your teeth
3. During contact sports
4. When you are swimming

How can I make sure I do not lose or damage them? You need to either make a hard box for them or you can buy one from the reception. When the retainers are out of your mouth, even for a few minutes, you must put them in the box otherwise you will lose or break them. The breakages can be repaired most of the time without any charge to you. The NHS will charge you for making new retainers if you have lost them or broken them beyond repair. Your teeth will get crooked again without them. The common mistake is to put your retainers in your pocket or wrap them in tissues.

How can I clean them? On a daily basis, you need to brush them with a toothbrush under running water. Do not use toothpaste when you are brushing them.. You need to use a special cleaner called “Retainer Brite ®” at least once a week. It comes with instructions and you can buy it from the reception or the big chemists.

Do I need to come back to check my retainers? Yes! You usually come back in 3 months time to have your teeth and your retainers checked. If you miss your appointment, we will not contact you to make a new one and if we do not hear from you soon, we will close your case with the NHS. If there are any problems with your retainers you need to contact the practice asap! Remember, if you do not wear your retainers even for a short period of time, your teeth will move!
Remember to always bring your retainers to your appointments even if you are not wearing them. Your retainers must be checked in your mouth every time you come.

Instructions for Fixed Retainers

Congratulations in completing your active orthodontic treatment. Now that your teeth are aligned, your retainers are a very crucial part to maintain your teeth straight or keep the gaps closed. If you do not follow these instructions your teeth are likely to move!
You can now use your normal toothbrush as opposed to the brace toothbrush you used when you had your braces. On top of that, you need to use a special toothbrush called “interdental brush” in between your teeth where your retainer is fitted. You can buy an “interdental brush” from the reception or from a big pharmacy. You cannot use normal dental floss where you retainer is. If you prefer, you can use “Super Floss”. You can buy that from the reception or from a big pharmacy as well, but we usually prefer the use of interdental brushes.

How long do I keep these retainers? Ideally, you keep this retainer for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. If you want to keep your teeth perfectly straight for life, you keep this retainer for life. Please note that retention is a life-time commitment. If your brushing deteriorates, your orthodontist will have to remove the retainer to sacrifice the alignment of your teeth for their health. If you break your retainer frequently, your retainer will be removed. Removal of your retainer can result in your teeth moving.

How can I make sure I do not break my retainer? Biting into some hard or chewy foods can result in breakage of your retainer. The three usual things that can break your retainer are:

1. Apple
2. Raw carrot
3. Toffee or hard/sticky sweets

If you want to bite into an apple or raw carrot with your front teeth you need to cut them up into slices first.

Do I need to come back to check my retainers? Yes! You usually come back in 3 months time to have your teeth and your retainers checked. Please make sure you attend your appointment as if you miss your appointment, we will not contact you to make a new one. If there are any problems with your retainers you need to contact the practice ASAP! Remember, if your retainer comes off even for a short period of time, your teeth can move! You need to visually check your retainer every night when brushing to make sure it has not come undone from your teeth. Sometimes the glue comes undone from your tooth/teeth and you do not notice it just by feeling your retainer with your tongue. The teeth can move very quickly when the retainer comes undone from teeth. It is your responsibility to make sure that the retainer is attached to your teeth. If your teeth move as a result of your retainer breaking without you contacting us, you may need to get braces for which you may need to pay.