Keeping your teeth straight

What many people don’t realize is the most important part of orthodontic treatment happens once your braces or aligners come off. After your teeth have been moved into their new beautifully straight position, you want to keep them there. That is the job of a retainer.

How do retainers work?

Retainers come in several different forms:

  • a plate-like apparatus which can be removed
  • a wire fitted to the back surface of your teeth
  • a clear aligner 

Your orthodontist will advise you on when to wear your retainer to get the best results. Ideally, you should wear your retainer for as long as you want your teeth to remain straight. Initially, your retainer should be worn both day and night for three months, then just at night.

Taking care of your retainer

To ensure your retainer is most effective, you need to keep it in good condition. Plate retainers can be removed for eating so food shouldn’t get stuck in it. However, it does need to be kept clean. You should also keep it in its case when you are not wearing it to avoid it getting damaged or lost!