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Retainers are key – fixed or removable?

If you undergo teeth straightening treatment, whether that be a fixed appliance, Invisalign or other aligner treatment to move teeth into your desired position, then you will always need to […]

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If you undergo teeth straightening treatment, whether that be a fixed appliance, Invisalign or other aligner treatment to move teeth into your desired position, then you will always need to consider how you are going to keep them in their new position, for your lifetime.

The way to keep teeth in their new position following teeth straightening treatment, is with retainers. As any experienced Harley Street, London cosmetic dentist can tell you, there are two options when it comes to the choice of retainers, fixed or removable.

Fixed retainers, or bonded retainers, is a metal wire that runs along the back of your teeth and is glued into position using tooth coloured cement. This ensures the teeth stay in position and cannot be removed by anyone apart from a dentist. This is a great option for patients who do not want to have to remember to wear retainers or cannot tolerate them. Fixed retainers are usually an additional cost after your orthodontic treatment is complete.

The downside is that fixed retainers are more challenging to clean around and may prevent you from using floss or interdental cleaning instruments.

Removable retainers are a great option for those patients who are not looking to have a wire cemented to the back of their teeth, and usually removable retainers are included within the package of your teeth straightening treatment, which is another bonus patients like! In appearance, removable retainers look very similar to clear aligners, but are made with a bit more durability for the long term . Patients sometimes do not consider removable retainers as they cannot tolerate the feeling of them in the mouth, however the main reason patients choose not to opt for removeable retainers is that you must remember to wear them every night, for as long as you wish to keep your teeth in the new desired position. Patients can forget, and dentists find that majority of cases in patients who have had their teeth drift back following teeth straightening treatment, is due to them not wearing their removeable retainers.

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