Retainers belong to the family of removable appliances. They offer the possibility for teeth to move in specific directions, expantion of th
e dental arch, and to create space. This is made possible due to the constant, low-level pressure created by the various active elements of the clasp (e.g. protrusion spring, distalisation spring, labial bows, etc.) and by adjusting the screws (usually once a week).
Retainers provide treatment for the following forms of jaw misalignment:
A retainer can be used in one or both jaws. It will take a few days to get used to having the retainer in your mouth, and during this time, teeth may be sensitive and speech may be affected.
The retainer must be worn day and night for a minimum period of 13 - 16 hours, although not at school, nor while eating or playing sports.
The duration of treatment using a retainer depends on how old the patient is, the growth phase of the teeth and jaw, and how diligent the patient is at wearing the retainer. Usually, the treatment period is approximately 9-12 months, with check-ups every 6 - 8 weeks.
It is often necessary to wear another clasp after the retainer is removed, in order to finalise treatment.
Retainers must be cleaned every day using toothpaste and a hard toothbrush. If not being worn, it is essential that, after being thoroughly cleaned, it be put back in its case (please, do not place it loose in your pocket). Every now and then it is recommended to get rid of any hard deposits, using oxygen tablets such as Kukident, or with warm water and a small amount of vinegar.