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Retainers after Orthodontic Treatments

Maintain your new smile by keeping your teeth aligned

Ensure your teeth stay perfectly aligned

Preserving the results of your orthodontic journey.

Retainers after Orthodontic Treatments - Iriston House Dental Practice

What are orthodontic retainers?

Structure and Composition

Orthodontic retainers are custom-made devices designed to hold your teeth in their new, corrected positions after braces or other orthodontic treatments.

They prevent teeth from gradually shifting back to their original misaligned positions.

Retainers are typically made from clear plastic or wire and are tailored to fit each patient’s mouth precisely.

They play a crucial role in maintaining the results of orthodontic treatments, ensuring long-term dental alignment and stability.

Depending on individual needs, retainers can be removable or fixed, and they must be worn as directed by an orthodontist to be effective.

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What's so good about it?

The Benefits


Maintains Alignment

Retainers are essential for maintaining the alignment achieved through orthodontic treatment. They hold teeth in their new positions, preventing them from shifting back to their original, misaligned state. This ensures that the results of months or years of orthodontic work are preserved.

Prevents Relapse

Without retainers, there is a risk of orthodontic relapse, where teeth gradually return to their previous positions. Wearing retainers as prescribed significantly reduces this risk, ensuring the long-term success of the treatment and saving patients from needing additional corrective procedures.

Supports Bone Stabilisation

After braces are removed, the bones and tissues around the teeth need time to stabilise in their new positions. Retainers provide the necessary support during this critical period, allowing the bone to reform and securely hold the teeth in place.

Improves Bite Function

Properly aligned teeth improve bite function, making it easier to chew and speak. Retainers help maintain this improved functionality by keeping the teeth in their correct positions, which can enhance overall oral health and comfort.

Supports Jaw Health

Properly aligned teeth can prevent jaw problems, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Retainers help maintain this alignment, reducing the risk of jaw pain, clicking, or other issues associated with misaligned teeth.

Promotes Long-Term Stability

Retainers promote long-term dental stability by ensuring that teeth remain in their corrected positions. This stability is essential for maintaining the functional and aesthetic benefits of orthodontic treatment over the years.

Reduces Wear on Teeth

Aligned teeth experience less uneven wear, which can extend the life of the teeth and reduce the need for dental restorations. Retainers help maintain this alignment, contributing to the long-term durability of the teeth.

Prevents Tooth Grinding

Properly aligned teeth can reduce the risk of bruxism (tooth grinding), which can cause tooth damage and jaw pain. Retainers help keep the teeth aligned, potentially reducing the likelihood of grinding and its associated problems.

Adapts to Growth in Teens

For teenagers who have completed orthodontic treatment, retainers can adapt to minor changes in the mouth as they continue to grow. This adaptability helps maintain alignment during a critical period of dental development.

How Is It Done?

Step-by-Step Process

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Book an Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is an essential part of your orthodontic journey, allowing our orthodontist to tailor a treatment plan to meet your specific needs and goals. During the initial consultation at Iriston House Dental Practice, our orthodontist will assess your specific needs and determine the right option for you. Here’s what you can expect during this appointment:

Discussion of Goals
Medical and Dental History
Oral Examination
Imaging and Scans
Treatment Recommendations
Preview of Treatment Plan
Cost Estimate and Payment Options
Asking Questions about the Treatment
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Meet Our Dentist with a Special Interest in Orthodontics

Dr Geoff Stone

Geoff speaks with passion and expertise, sharing insights and innovative approaches to orthodontic care, leaving listeners inspired and informed about their dental health journey.

About Dr Geoff Stone

See His Bio

With a special interest in minimally invasive dentistry and orthodontics, Geoff excels in preserving teeth through precise alignment, bleaching, and bonding techniques, ensuring patients achieve their dream smiles with minimal preparation. As a fellow of the IAS Academy, Geoff shares his expertise nationally and internationally, offering patients cutting-edge treatments and personalised care backed by years of experience and ongoing commitment to excellence.

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Dr Geoff Stone - Our specialist orthodontist at Iriston House Dental Practice in Bathgate, West Lothian

Retainers in Bathgate

Why Choose Us for Orthodontic Retainers

Choose Iriston House Dental Practice for your orthodontic retainers to benefit from our expertise and commitment to your smile’s long-term success. Our skilled orthodontic team ensures that each retainer is custom-made to fit your unique dental alignment, providing optimal retention and preventing any relapse. With our attention to detail and personalised care, you can trust us to help maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment, ensuring a confident and healthy smile for years to come.

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Common Questions

Questions? We've got Answers

What are retainers?

Retainers are orthodontic appliances designed to maintain the position of teeth after braces or other orthodontic treatments. They help prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions, ensuring the longevity of your new smile.

Orthodontic retainers come in various types to suit different needs and preferences. Here are the main types of orthodontic retainers:

  1. Hawley Retainers:
    • Description: These retainers are made of a combination of metal wires and an acrylic base that fits snugly against the roof of your mouth or along the inside of your lower teeth.
    • Advantages: They are adjustable, durable, and can last for many years with proper care.
    • Disadvantages: They are more noticeable compared to clear retainers and can sometimes affect speech initially.
  2. Clear Retainers (Essix Retainers):
    • Description: Made from clear plastic, these retainers fit over your teeth and are nearly invisible.
    • Advantages: They are discreet and less noticeable than Hawley retainers.
    • Disadvantages: They are less durable, can become cloudy or discoloured over time, and may need to be replaced more frequently.
  3. Fixed (Bonded) Retainers:
    • Description: These are a permanent solution, where a wire is bonded to the back of your teeth, usually the lower front teeth.
    • Advantages: They are not visible from the front and ensure that your teeth remain in place without the need to remember to wear them.
    • Disadvantages: They can make flossing more difficult and require careful cleaning to avoid plaque buildup.
  4. Vivera Retainers:
    • Description: Made by Invisalign, these retainers are similar to clear retainers but are created using advanced technology to provide a more precise fit.
    • Advantages: They are strong, durable, and virtually invisible.
    • Disadvantages: They are more expensive than traditional retainers and require a subscription for replacement sets.

Each type of retainer has its benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice depends on individual needs, preferences, and the specific recommendations of our dentist.

What is the average cost of retainers in Scotland?

We have checked over 20 websites of orthodontic practices in Scotland and found that the average cost of retainers can range from £100 to £300 or more, depending on various factors.

Why do I need a retainer?

After orthodontic treatment, teeth can shift back to their original positions. Retainers help stabilise your teeth in their new alignment, ensuring your orthodontic treatment results are maintained long-term.

How long do I need to wear my retainer?

The duration for wearing retainers varies by individual. Initially, you might need to wear them full-time for several months, followed by nightly use indefinitely to maintain alignment.

Can I eat with my retainer on?

It is recommended to remove removable retainers, such as Hawley and Essix, while eating to avoid damage and staining. Fixed retainers do not need removal, but maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial.

How do I clean a fixed retainer?

Clean a fixed retainer by brushing and flossing around it thoroughly. Special floss threaders or interdental brushes can help remove plaque and food particles from around the wire.

Are retainers uncomfortable to wear?

Initially, retainers might feel tight or uncomfortable as you adjust to wearing them. This discomfort typically subsides within a few days. If discomfort persists, consult our orthodontist at Iriston House Dental Practice for adjustments.

Can I play sports with my retainer?

Yes, you can play sports with your retainer, but it is advisable to remove it if it is removable and wear a mouthguard during contact sports to protect your teeth and the retainer from damage.

Do I need to wear my retainer while sleeping?

Yes, wearing your retainer while sleeping is crucial as teeth can shift at night. Our orthodontist will provide specific instructions on how long and when to wear your retainer.

Can I talk normally with a retainer?

Initially, you might experience slight difficulty speaking with a retainer. Practice speaking with the retainer in, and your speech will typically return to normal as you adjust to wearing it.

Will my retainer need adjustments?

Initially, you might experience slight difficulty speaking with a retainer. Practice speaking with the retainer in, and your speech will typically return to normal as you adjust to wearing it.

Interested? Book in now!
01506 652135
48 King St, Bathgate EH48 1AY

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