What to do… Advice for patients after their treatment is finished
We’re confident that when your treatment ends you will be delighted with the results we accomplish for you. Of course, it’s important that these results should be as long lasting as possible.
We like to make sure that your teeth stay as straight as the day that the braces were removed. For this reason, we supervise you for a year following the removal of your braces, to make sure that everything is still going well.
Retainers are designed to help with this. We can offer you a choice of types to help you keep your teeth correctly aligned:
- Removable retainers
These are simple clip-in transparent plates, usually worn every night for 12 months. At the end of this period, most people can gradually reduce the amount of time they wear their retainers and may eventually only need to wear them once a week. We normally advise growing children to wear their retainers until they are at least 18-19 years old, keeping them afterwards so that they can check they still fit every week at least.
- Fixed retainers
Fixed retainers are thin wires which have been formed to fit closely on the inside surface of the front 4-6 teeth. They are not visible from the front and are fairly durable, provided you are reasonably sensible with what you eat. Fixed retainers often eliminate the need for regular wear of a removable retainer. Depending on your bite, it may not be practical to apply this type of retainer to your top teeth.
How long should you wear a retainer?
Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you stop wearing a retainer, your teeth will move to some extent as you grow older-this happens to everyone. Most frequently this is seen as slight crowding of the lower incisors. Young people should use a retainer until they’ve stopped growing, with adults needing to wear them for at least 3-5 years. This gives the teeth a good chance of settling in the new position.
Retainers… our recommendation
To preserve your investment in your new smile, we would recommend that you always keep a set of retainers and check that they’re still fitting correctly on a weekly basis… for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight!