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Retention and aftercare


Congratulations – your braces are off and you’re sporting a sparkling new smile. You’ve moved your teeth into the ideal position. So, let’s keep them there, discreetly and comfortably.

You’ll need to wear retainers to maintain your results. They work by holding your teeth in place to prevent something called orthodontic relapse.This is where your teeth start to move back to their original positions following orthodontic treatment. Something you want to avoid.

Retainers should be worn everyday or night if you want your results to last. Thankfully, they’re discreet and will soon become part of your daily routine.

Portman Smile Clinic is proud to be working with Retainers4Life, helping you to keep smiling with confidence for years to come with regular retainer use. It’s a great addition to our orthodontic care, and now our patients can order their retainers online. To order your replacement retainers, click here.

How do teeth retainers work?

Your clear, removable retainers will be custom made to closely hug your teeth and stop them from moving.

  • We’ll take impressions (moulds of your teeth) for your retainers as soon as your braces come off. When your retainers are ready, we’ll help you fit them for the first time and make sure they’re comfortable.
  • Your orthodontist will tell you when to wear your retainers. Eventually, most patients only need to wear their removable retainers at night. Think of them as pyjamas for your teeth.
  • We’ll give you all the information you need to look after your retainers. When they’re not in your mouth, keep them safe in their protective box (and far away from pets).

Can I have fixed retainers?

Fixed retainers comprise of thin, stainless steel wires, which we attach behind your front teeth for extra protection against orthodontic relapse.

We’ll fit your fixed retainers when we remove your braces. They may feel a little strange at first, but you’ll quickly forget they’re there. They’re incredibly easy to look after. Just make sure you brush around them carefully to keep them clean.

What follow-up care will I receive?

If your treatment is funded by the NHS, we’ll supervise your retention for 12 months. If you pay for your treatment privately, you’ll receive 1 - 2 years of follow-up care.

During this time, you’ll come in for regular check-ups, to make sure your teeth and retainers are doing well. It’s also a good time for you to check-in with us with any questions or concerns. Don’t forget we’re here throughout your treatment and into aftercare, so you can always get in touch, whether you have an appointment or not.

What if I lose or break my retainers?

Retainers aren’t designed to last indefinitely and will need replacing every few years. If you lose or break your retainers, contact us straight away. We’ll organise a replacement or repair as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of your teeth moving.

If your teeth have already moved, we have several invisible braces that can discreetly tackle orthodontic relapse and restore your smile.

Speak to your local orthodontic specialist if you have any questions.