After spending somewhere in the region of 12 to 18 months or more with your braces firmly in place it can be a huge relief to finally be rid of them. However, patients near Hanwell and throughout the UK will still need to use a retainer to prevent your teeth from slowly drifting back into their original position.
Different types of orthodontic retainer
There are two types of retainer: removable retainers and fixed retainers attached to the rear of the teeth. Removable retainers can be made from either hard plastic or wire, known as a Hawley retainer. Or they can be made from hard plastic alone and these are known as Essix retainers. The latter option is generally more desirable as it is less noticeable due to the transparent nature of the plastic used.
Fixed retainers are made from wire and are permanently fixed to the rear of the teeth. These can be easier to deal with for some people, as there is no need to put them in and take them out. However they cannot be adjusted if the need occurs, whereas removable retainers can be adjusted if required.
In most cases retainers for the upper teeth are removable and fit onto the roof of the mouth whereas those for the lower teeth tend to be fixed. This is simply because there is less surface area space for the removable retainer to sit against.
In order to maintain your new smile and beautiful straight teeth you will need to wear the retainers every day for at least the first few months. It is in these first few months when the teeth are most likely to slip back into their old positions. After the first few months a retainer will only need to be worn at night, to continue to reinforce the new position of the teeth and prevent slippage.