Having your braces removed and seeing your new straight smile for the first time is a day you'll never forget. It's also the last day of treatment, right? Not quite. In fact, the most important phase of treatment is yet to come. Retention. 

What are retainers?

Teeth have a natural tendency to move once your braces or other orthodontic appliance has been removed. This is known as 'orthodontic relapse' and is the last thing you - or we - want. Retainers, which come in two forms - fixed and removable - prevent this movement from happening and ensure your teeth look as good in years to come as they do on the day your braces are removed. A retention programme is individually tailored for each patient and includes a fixed bonded lingual wire and removable retainers. 

How do retainers work?

Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in place once your braces have been removed and are generally very simple to wear and maintain. You will also need to keep up your regular appointments with your general dentist. You may experience some build up of calculus, so it’s important you have your general dentist scale and clean your teeth when required (usually every 6 months). 


Types of retainers

There are two types of retainers: removable retainers and fixed retainers, also known as a bonded lingual wire. 

Vacuum (removable) retainers: Vacuum retainers are made of a thin, clear, plastic material that is relatively unnoticeable. It looks much like a thin sports mouthguard, or an Invisalign aligner, and sits over your newly straightened teeth. Vacuum retainers must be worn for 24 hours a day (removed only for eating, brushing and flossing) for the first three months after your braces are removed. Following this, they must be worn at night. Because retainers can be removed they're easy to clean - simply brush with your toothbrush and give them the occasional soak in a cleaning solution such as “Retainer Brite”.  Vacuum retainers can also be easily lost. If you lose or break your retainer, contact our practice immediately to arrange a replacement. 

Bonded (fixed) retainer: The bonded retainer is a very fine piece of wire attached to the inside surface of the upper and/or lower front six teeth to stop them from moving or relapsing back into their old position. This wire is not visible and is usually fitted immediately after your braces have been removed. (You will also be required to wear a vacuum retainer in addition). If you have a bonded retainer, you must take care when biting into hard foods as the wire could be dislodged. If this happens, contact our practice immediately to arrange a replacement. Cleaning this area is also important to ensure no build up of plaque occurs around the wire. As long as the wire remains in place it will hold the teeth straight. 

At Pure Orthodontics, we offer all our patients a year of supervised retention FREE. This includes the fitting of a bonded retainer and a vacuum retainer along with four check up appointments within the first year following completion of your treatment.  

Retainer Club

The Pure Orthodontics Retainer Club is a cost effective, extended care programme designed to help you maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment and your retention appliances after the first year of free retention care. 

For a low annual fee we offer our retainer club members:

  • 2 FREE check-ups (6 monthly)
  • 1 FREE replacement of your bonded or vacuum retainer per year, if needed
  • FREE repairs to reasonable wear and tear of your bonded and vacuum retainers as needed

Book your Free appointment

  • No-obligation initial meeting to discuss your options
  • Meet with our Treatment Coordinator
  • Find out about our payment plans

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Aged 15 | Damon metal, baby teeth

I liked the way the treatment was not rushed and how customers are treated and would recommend Pure Orthodontics to family and friends. Thouroughly pleased with the treatment and end result.

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Free appointment

At Pure Orthodontics we offer a free appointment to all of our patients. This allows you to come in, have an assessment and ask questions to find out what treatment would entail.

Book your Free appointment