Once orthodontic treatment has concluded and your teeth have been aligned, the most important step of your smile journey is just beginning: the retention phase. During this phase, we will fit you with a custom retainer so you can enjoy your new smile for a lifetime.


Why do I need to wear a retainer?

If you don’t wear your retainer, your teeth will want to shift back to their original positions. That means you need to wear your retainer as instructed by your Specialist Orthodontist if you want to keep the results you worked so hard for.

We recommend that you wear your retainer on a part time basis for life, as this is the only way to keep your teeth straight. Many people choose to wear their retainer at night rather than during the day.

Why do I need to wear a retainer?

Types of retainers

There are three types of retainers we use at our practice:

Removable braces

Removable braces are plastic plates with thin metal wires that wrap around the front of your teeth. They are what most people picture when they hear the word ‘retainer’. Removable braces should be worn all the time to start with and then later at night only.

Clear plastic moulds

Clear plastic moulds can be made to hold your teeth in the correct positions. These moulds look a bit like Invisalign® clear aligners. Clear plastic moulds should be worn 10-12 hours per day at night.

Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers are small, thin wires attached to the inside surface of your front teeth near the gumline. These are permanently fixed in place, so you don’t need to worry about losing your retainer, but you will need to pay extra attention to the area when brushing your teeth.

Types of retainers

How do I know which retainer is best for me?

Your Specialist Orthodontist will let you know which type of retainer will work best for your individual case.

How to care for your retainer

If you have a fixed retainer, our team can show you how to clean around it properly. If you have a removable retainer, there are a few extra things to keep in mind when caring for your appliance:

  • Keep your retainer away from hot surfaces or hot water
  • Always put your retainer in its case when removed
  • Remove your retainer for meal times
  • Clean your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Only clean with COLD WATER
  • Don’t click your retainer in and out (you can break it)
  • Keep your retainer out of the reach of pets
  • Alert our team immediately if your retainer is lost or damaged (there will be a charge under the National Health Service regulations of £84.60 per retainer to replace them)
  • Bring your retainers to all aftercare appointments to make sure they still fit (Please note, the NHS only pays for one course of treatment. If your teeth move, we may not be able to re-treat you. Please follow the instructions of your Specialist Orthodontist.)
How to care for your retainer

Start your smile journey

Take the first step towards your brand new smile by booking a free consultation with the team at Links Orthodontics.

Start your smile journey