Frequently asked questions about orthodontic retainers
like any part of the human body, the ageing process is inevitable. This will have an impact on the teeth. Retainers need to be worn in order to minimise these changes as much as possible. Retainers also help to stabilise your teeth in their new position and it is important to follow these instructions carefully.
Retainers need to be worn 24/7. They should only be removed for eating, brushing or when playing contact sports. Retaining plates are usually worn full-time for approximately 6 months, then bedtime only. After this they may be worn part-time according to your orthodontists’ instructions.
Your retainers will look, taste and feel brand new. Your speech may also be affected. This usually lasts for a couple of days until you wear them in and they become comfortable. Talk, sing, smile as much as possible. If you are having difficulty, discuss this with your orthodontist at your first check appointment.
Do not put the retainers in your pocket, do not put the in your bag, and definitely do not wrap them in tissues or serviettes as they will be thrown out! There is a cost to replace lost or damaged retainers so please look after them.
A fixed retainer stays on the teeth indefinitely. If it ever comes off or is damaged a new retainer is strongly recommended. As long as you maintain good oral hygiene, a fixed retainer will not affect the health of your teeth.
You can brush the with a toothbrush and toothpaste when you brush your teeth. You can also soak your plates in any cleaning solution from the pharmacy, Alternatively a small amount of diluted white vinegar does the same job. Soak for 10-15 minutes.
Do not play with the retainers in your mouth, do not eat or bite anything hard sticky or chewy as this may damage or break the wires.
If you have not seen your General Dentist recently, it is highly recommended to do so for a thorough check-up and cleaning of the gums.
Your final x-rays will give an indication of that your options are with the wisdom teeth. Each patient is individual, and your orthodontist will advise as to your options. These are usually looked at in the years ahead as required.