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What is a retainer?
Retainers are fitted at the end of orthodontic treatment after the braces are removed. Retainers are designed to minimise unwanted movement of teeth after orthodontic alignment ie. relapse. Retainers normally need to be worn indefinitely, as long as you want your teeth to remain straight. Retainers can be either removable or fixed onto the teeth and there are different types of retainers. The choice of retainer is affected by a number of different factors and your orthodontist will explain which retainer is best for you. Sometimes you will be recommended to wear more than one type of retainer to reduce the chances of relapse.
What is a bonded or permanent retainer?
This is a short length of wire bonded to the back of your front teeth using an adhesive resin. There are specific clinical situations when this type of retainer is indicated, these retainers are not used routinely in all cases. You must spend extra time cleaning around it and if it ever gets loose, you should seek advice immediately. You should continue to wear your removable retainer(s) as advised by your orthodontist.
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