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Retainer Membership – Keep your teeth straight for life

retainer membership

I never got a retainer! I lost my retainer! My retainer broke!
Every day, millions of adults and teens around the world curse their retainer as the cause of them having crooked teeth again after all the years of suffering of fixed braces, wires, extractions and monthly adjustments for in some cases up to 4 years!
Worry no more there is finally a solution to this problem, the Straight Teeth Direct™ retainer membership.

You would think given such a large commitment of time, money and effort the retainer would have a more prominent explanation and role. Millions of adults that choose to straighten their teeth again as an adult are only in this position because they didn’t have back up retainers nor did they understand the critical importance of these things. At Straight Teeth Direct™ our goal is to make straight teeth affordable and accessible, so that extends to keeping them straight! We believe you should NEVER have to pay twice for braces, and that’s why we created our straight teeth guarantees and retainer membership exactly for this. So let’s go through this whole subject, why do we even need retainers, what are retainers, what types are there, and why are they so important, and what can go wrong.

#1 Why everybody who undergoes orthodontic treatment will need retainers

Teeth can move more than you think

Fixed braces and aligners all work by transmitting forces onto teeth. Any tooth that has a force exerted on it for 15+ hours a day will move in response to that force.
This is why in ancient Egypt and Rome people used to move teeth (the ancestor of braces) by pushing them with their fingers. So the key thing to remember is that the greatest sources of forces in the mouth are the tongue and lips. These muscles act all day and they place forces on the teeth. This is why thumb sucking habits are so bad, as they can push the upper teeth forwards and lower teeth forwards too, creating an open bite. Same goes with nail biting habits as they can make teeth more crooked if the force is applied to a certain angle of the tooth constantly. So what does this have to do with braces?

Braces don’t lock teeth in place

Well whilst the braces / aligners are in the mouth – they provide the dominant forces on the teeth, so the teeth move under the direction of the forces applied there BUT the day the braces are removed, the lips and tongue become king and queen of forces. They then start to immediately push and bully the teeth to move out of their way, this can lead to the lower and upper teeth becoming crooked again, sometimes in as short a time as a few weeks, despite years of braces wear. So we need something which can act to neutralise these forces and keep the teeth straight. This is what is known as retainers. They retain the teeth in the right position.

#2 What are the 2 types of retainers

Retainers can be placed in two categories fixed retainers and removable retainers.

1. Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers are bonded (glued) to the back of the upper and lower teeth.
They typically fit behind the upper 6 front teeth or lower 6 front teeth (canine to canine).
Some dentists only place them behind the front 4 or 2 teeth but this is typically a mistake as then destabilising movements can still occur. When a fixed retainer is placed it should always be backed up with a removable retainer as fixed retainers fail quite often. When a fixed retainer fails it typically fails by debonding (coming loose) on one tooth only, this is a real big problem, as it is not obvious and by the time you realise it is loose, the tooth has moved out of position. This means your teeth are now crooked again! The only way to fix this is to then remove the fixed retainer and then use aligners or a fixed brace to straighten your teeth again. This presents a problem as typically if you go back to a dentist with this problem they will explain they need to charge you to remove the fixed retainer, then for the new braces and then for the new fixed retainer, and you are left feeling blamed and silly as if it’s all your fault, but the truth of the matter is the mouth is an extremely hostile place with huge forces on the teeth everyday, and then the action of biting into hard foods means all the teeth move to different degrees (all teeth have a shock absorber known as the periodontal ligament, which helps the tooth bounce up and down upto 0.5mm under large forces). This movement up and down can weaken the bond of the fixed retainer to it (naturally) so it’s actually a case of WHEN not IF the fixed retainer will fail.
The trouble with fixed retainers is they create these catastrophic failures leading to extra braces costs and also cause problems in cleaning teeth (as the retainer takes up space behind the teeth).

2. Removable retainers

Removable retainers are plastic (usually) pressure formed appliances – looking very similar to invisible aligners that fit over the teeth holding them in position. They are usually to be worn every night for about 3 months following completion of straightening then once a night weekly long term to hold the teeth in position. The advantage of them is that they don’t interfere with your oral hygiene as nothing is glued to your teeth, and they hold all the teeth still not just the front 6 teeth. So in cases where you have had your smile widened (arch expansion) they can hold the premolars in position too (something a fixed retainer can’t do). The problem with removable retainers is they don’t work if you don’t wear them. So if you lose them or they break you need to get a new one. Now typically in a clinic, this would involve going back to the dentist to have a new impression taken, the problem with this is that the impression captures the position of where your teeth are NOW, not when they were optimally straight. So if they have moved slightly then you are stuck there. That’s why a retainer membership is ideal.

#3 The Straight Teeth Direct™ retainer membership: the only way to protect your investment

The story behind the retainer membership

Our founders who previously ran a clinic focused on cosmetic orthodontics often saw fixed and removable retainers break (after all – life, chewing and eating are contact sports) this led to a system we created where we thought if we could store the digital position of the teeth as they are in their final straight position (at the end of the teeth straightening process), then even if the retainer was lost or broken, we knew we could print out the model of the teeth as they were in the ideal position, and then create a new retainer which fits the correct position of the teeth. This retainer would also act to straighten and correct any minor tooth movement that had occurred, thus safeguarding the new smile.

How the retainer membership works

This is what evolved into the Maintainer Plan for Straight Teeth Direct™.
A unique hassle free way to maintain your new smile. Simply join and get a brand fresh set of retainers every 6 months for only 150€/£139 a year (over time retainers become loose and so can allow the teeth to move slightly), brand new retainers in the ideal position keep your smile straight and fresh, by preventing any unwanted movement, and can also serve as whitening trays to keep your smile white too. This also allows you to never have to wear gross retainers, cause overtime they wear down and can become a bit opaque as you wear them on a weekly basis.

So when you are choosing the right straight teeth solution for you, remember it’s not about the straightening only, it’s also all the after care service and guarantees. Remember to check all this when selecting the best option for you.

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