The thought of wearing a retainer after you’ve gone through the whole process of teeth straightening can feel really disheartening. Finally you’ve got a beautiful, perfect smile to be super proud of and now you’ve not got to wear a retainer. Yup, it can feel rubbish. However, there’s a good reason to wear retainers and simply put it’s to stop your teeth moving back. 

Types of retainers

Your orthodontist in Stoke on Trent will likely support you through what they believe is the best retainer option for you post treatment but here’s a little overview of the most common options.

Hawley retainers – Hawley retainers are very common, they are removable and are attached to the teeth through a wire that fits round the teeth and is attached to the base. Now just because they are removable doesn’t mean you can put them in and out as you please, you should always follow your dentist’s advice. 

Clear retainers – This style of retainer has become far more popular in recent years. This style of retainer is specially moulded to fit snug around your teeth. These are more popular now as they are basically invisible when you’re wearing them. 

Bonded retainers – This type of retainer is what it says on the tin, bonded. Once you’ve had your braces removed your orthodontist in Stoke on Trent will fix this wear to the back side of your teeth. This style is designed for those who need in the first few months of treatment to constantly wear a retainer. Luckily with them being fitted to the inside of the teeth you can’t see them. Usually these are kept on until they come away naturally and then you will move on to one of the other forms of retainer

How much should I be wearing my retainer?

This isn’t a question with one answer; it all comes down to the individual and the treatment they’ve had. Obviously with fixed retainers they’re in until they are removed but with removables it’s different. In a very generalised statement it’s said that you will need to wear a removable for the first four to six months post treatment, only removing for cleaning and eating. However, to stress this could  vary case to case with some people having longer or shorter full-time periods. 

Usually within six months your dentist will allow for patients to cut back to wearing their retainer just at night time. But don’t get caught out, it’s so easy to stop wearing them but before you know it all that hard brace work will be wasted and your teeth will be on the move. 

Will I ever be able to stop wearing one?

The answer simply is no. Teeth like bodies are always wanting to move and change shape and so you need to be on top of keeping them in the stop you’ve chosen for them. It’s advised you should get new retainers every two years or so and should of course always be attending regular checkups during your lifetime.

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