Retainers After Braces or Invisalign Caulfield

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Retainers and Aftercare

Help your new straight
smile to last a lifetime

Do I really need to wear a retainer?

Yes! We can’t stress enough how important it is to wear a retainer after your braces or other orthodontic appliance is removed to make sure your results last.

A retainer isn’t something you wear after your orthodontic treatment – it’s part of your treatment, just as important as any other. When you’ve invested time and money into straightening your teeth, the last thing you want is to see all your hard work coming undone because you skipped the final step.

If you or your child are having braces, Invisalign® or another treatment at our Caulfield orthodontic clinic, we’ll fit your retainer the same day we remove your appliance for an uninterrupted transition.

What does a retainer do?

Like the name says, a retainer retains your new smile. Orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners moves your teeth into a new position, but they need help to stay there, otherwise they’ll shift back to the ‘memory’ of their old position. That’s where retainers come in.

Retainers are passive appliances. That means they don’t move your teeth and jaws like braces and aligners do – they just hold them in the position you want to stop them from moving themselves. Your orthodontist in Caulfield will design a custom retainer that fits perfectly over your teeth and is comfortable to wear.

How long do I have to wear a retainer for?

This is the big question, but the answer can be different for everyone. Normally retainers are worn full-time for about 6 months following removal of your braces. Your Orthodontist will regularly monitor your progress and usually after this initial period, they can then be worn at night for a further 6 months. We highly recommend that you continue to wear your retainers long-term, even a few nights per week, to limit unfavorable movement of your teeth. People are advised to wear a fixed retainer permanently.

If you’re having orthodontic treatment at Hello Ortho, we’ll recommend how long you or your child should wear your retainer for based on your orthodontic needs, the results of your treatment, your age and other factors, so you’ll know what to expect.

After we fit your retainer and show you how to care for it, we’ll schedule regular retention appointments over the next 12 months to check your progress and answer any questions you have. After this time, it’s up to you to continue wearing your retainer as recommended and to contact us if you have any problems.

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Types of retainers

Retainers can be either fixed or removable. Your orthodontist will discuss the options we offer and recommend what might be best for you or your child, which might include a combination of retainers.

Essix retainer

Essix retainers are removable retainers . They're made from clear plastic and fit over the teeth like clear aligners or a mouthguard, so they're quite discreet. We'll tell you if you need to wear your retainer during the day or only at night.

Bonded retainer

A bonded retainer is a thin metal wire that is fixed to the inside of the front four or six teeth. They are often recommended only for the lower teeth, however, your Orthodontist will discuss with you if you need one for your upper teeth also.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Your retainer needs good care to keep it functioning properly, just like your braces or aligners did. A fixed retainer requires careful brushing when you clean your teeth, a removable retainer requires regular cleaning and soaking in cleansing solution.

Your Essix retainer should be cleaned as often as your teeth to keep it free from bacteria that could spread to your teeth and gums. Only use cold or lukewarm water for cleaning, as hot water can cause plastic retainers to warp.

Store your retainer in a container away from sunlight and heat sources when you’re not wearing it, so it doesn’t get lost or lose its shape.

This depends on the type of retainer you have and the advice of your Orthodontist, we’ll advise you how many hours you should wear your retainer for and when you can take it out.

Generally, you should remove your Essix retainer when you’re eating, brushing or flossing your teeth, swimming and playing sports.

Removable retainers need to be removed carefully to avoid damage. We’ll show you or your child how to do this when we fit your retainer for the first time.

After we fit your retainer, we’ll schedule a series of appointments over the next 12 months.

The frequency of appointments will be based on your individual orthodontic needs and the type of retainer you choose. Your general dentist will also check your retainer during your regular dental check-ups.

Just like damaged braces, damage to your retainer will interrupt your orthodontic treatment and could affect your results the longer it goes uncorrected.

If your retainer gets broken, feels loose, doesn’t fit properly or is causing unexpected pain, contact our Caulfield clinic to make an emergency orthodontic appointment. We’ll fit you in as soon as possible.

Talk to an orthodontist in Caulfield

Do you have more questions about retainers or other orthodontic treatments at Hello Ortho? Get in touch today for enquiries or to book a consultation with a specialist orthodontist.

Call us on 03 9524 8900 to talk to our team or request a quote with no obligation to continue.