Retainers | Specialist Headington Orthodontist | Oxford Orthodontic Centre

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Retention

After active orthodontic treatment when your teeth are straight, your fixed appliances are removed. If nothing is done at this stage your teeth could return towards their original position. In addition, if you are young and your teeth and jaws are still growing, your teeth may move and re-crowd.

To prevent your teeth moving you will be advised to wear retainers which help to keep your teeth in their newly straightened position. 

 

Hawley retainers

Conventional removable retainers, known as Hawley retainers after their original designer, are made of wire and acrylic. These are reasonably robust but can fracture is mishandled or abused. However, if the damage is not too great, they are relatively easy to repair.

Hawley retainers

Vacuum formed retainer (VFR)

Our preferred option, the VFR retainer is more robust than the wire and acrylic retainer. It is also more comfortable to wear and nearly invisible. Because it is such a good fit, it is usually worn for fewer hours during the day than the conventional retainer. Download an information sheet here.

Vacuum formed retainer (VFR)

Fixed wire retainer

Sometimes it is preferable to fit a fixed retainer, which is a thin wire glued to the inside of the teeth. These wires perform well for the lower front teeth but are more prone to damage behind the upper front teeth. They may be left in place indefinitely provided that good oral hygiene can be maintained.

Fixed wire retainer

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