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Looking for Private or NHS Orthodontic treatment in Ayr or Irvine?

Embrace-U - Specialist Orthodontic Practice - Ayr and Irvine


At the end of orthodontic treatment you will be given retainers to wear. These are removable and are designed to maintain your teeth in their newly straightened position. It is very important to wear some sort of retainer after your braces have been removed to stop the teeth from moving.

What is a retainer and how important is it I wear it?

Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight and can either be removable or fixed to the teeth.  Now that your teeth are straight, if you do not wear your retainer, your teeth are likely to drift towards their original positions.  If this happens it may be difficult, if not impossible, to correct.

How long will I have to wear the retainers?

As a general rule removable retainers should be worn until you are at least 20 years old and it is better to continue for life to prevent any unwanted movement.

How  might the retainer affect me?

Your speech will be different.  Practice speaking with the brace in place e.g. read out aloud at home on your own, and in this way your speech will return to normal within a couple of days.  You may also find yourself swallowing a lot to begin with.  This is quite normal and will quickly pass.  If you have a fixed retainer then you will need to take extra care to keep it clean. Fixed retainers require life-long monitoring and repairs if damaged. Excellent cleaning is required to prevent gum disease. Your orthodontist can assist you with this. The NHS covers a maximum of one years monitoring and thereafter a fee is raised, currently £80 per annum.

Can I eat normally?

Whether you have been instructed to eat with your retaining appliance in or out, you should take care to avoid:

  • Toffees, boiled sweets, sugared chewing gum, chocolate bars etc.
  • Fizzy drinks including diet drinks, excessive amounts of fruit juice.
  • Hard foods which might damage the brace such as crunchy apples, crusty bread rolls, etc.

What about tooth brushing?

It is important you brush your teeth well, three times per day and use a fluoride toothpaste.  If possible carry a brush with you for use after lunch.  Take the brace out to clean your teeth.  You should also gently brush the brace, taking care not to damage the wires.

A daily fluoride mouth rinse should  be used last thing at night, after tooth brushing, to further protect the teeth. Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will lead to permanent scarring of your teeth.

Can I remove the brace?

If the brace is removable but you have been asked to wear it full time, it should only be removed for cleaning.  When it is not in your mouth it should be in its protective box.  Do not click the brace in and out with your tongue as this can cause the brace to break.  If the retainer can’t be worn because it is being repaired, your teeth may not remain straight.

How often will I now need an appointment?

You will not need to be seen so often now the retainers are in place.  You will be advised about this.

Please bring your retainers to each visit.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist?

Yes.  It is a good idea to continue to visit your regular dentist as your orthodontist will not check your teeth for decay.  This is particularly so if you’re previous brace was fixed to your teeth.

What do I do if I play contact sports?

You should obtain a new upper and lower gumshields now you are in retention.

What do I do if my retainers break?

Ring up for an appointment as soon as is reasonably possible.  Do not wait for your next routine appointment as your teeth may move whilst not wearing your retainers.

 Do not run your retainers under hot water or put near heat.

Embrace - U Ayr

01292 268444
27 Miller Road

Opening Hours
9-5 Mon - Fri

Embrace - U Irvine

01294 276153
47 Townhead
KA12 0BH

Opening Hours
9-5 Mon - Fri

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