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Retainer subscription – How to keep your teeth straight for life

teeth retainer membership

Key points

  • If you don’t wear retainers after braces your teeth can (and most likely will) move out of position after your teeth straightening treatment has finished.
  • A retainer subscription allows you to not have to worry about when you need to change your retainers or buy a new set. Some subscriptions will also include broken and lost retainer guarantees so that you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your new smile!
  • When choosing retainers, you can either opt for fixed or removable retainers. That is totally up to you and we have a blog specifically on that. Just tap here.

Why everybody needs retainers after orthodontic treatment

  • Teeth 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. 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

Whilst braces or aligners are inside your mouth they provide the dominant forces on the teeth, making teeth move in the direction of the forces applied. When you stop using braces or aligners, the lips and tongue become king and queen of forces. They start to immediately push your teeth and this can lead to the lower and upper teeth becoming crooked again. Unfortunately, this can happen in as short a time as a few weeks, despite years of wearing braces.

That is why we need teeth retainers. Teeth retainers neutralise these forces and keep your teeth straight over time.

Types of retainers

Retainers can be placed under two categories: fixed retainers and removable retainers.

Fixed retainers

What is a teeth retainer? Fixed retainers are bonded (glued) to the back of your upper and lower teeth. They typically fit behind the upper or lower 6 front teeth (canine to canine).

Some dentists only place them behind the front 4 or 2 teeth. This is typically a mistake as 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. Fixed retainers tend to fail by coming loose on one tooth only. This is a big problem as it is not obvious when it happens and by the time you realise it is already loose and, consequently, your tooth has moved out of position.

And…your teeth are now crooked again!

How can I fix this? You might be wondering!

You will need to remove the fixed retainer and re-straighten your teeth again. You would also be charged to remove the retainer, pay for the teeth straightening AND for a new fixed retainer.

All in all you will blame yourself and feel silly as if it was your fault when it’s not! Take the action of biting for instance. Biting into hard foods moves all your teeth to different degrees. This up and down movement weakens the bond of the fixed retainer to your teeth making it a case of WHEN not IF it will fail you.

Let’s not forget cleaning your teeth with a fixed retainer, we left that to another post though. You can check it out here.

Removable retainers

Removable retainers are plastic (usually) pressure formed appliances very similar to invisible aligners that fit over your teeth. You should wear them 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 if you had your smile widened (arch expansion) these retainers hold the premolars in position too.

If you lose your removable aligners or if they break, you’ll need to get a new set. In a clinic, this would involve physically going there and having new impressions taken. The issue here is that the impression captures the position of where your teeth are at that time, not when they were optimally straight. So if they have moved slightly then you are stuck there. That’s why a retainer subscription is ideal.

A retainer subscription that protects your investment

  • The story behind our retainer subscription

Our founders – who previously ran a cosmetic orthodontics clinic – often saw fixed and removable retainers break. This led to a system we created where we would store the optimal position of teeth digitally 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. Creating a new retainer that 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 subscription works

And that’s how we came up with our Maintainer Plan!

A unique hassle free way to maintain your new smile. By joining you will get a fresh set of retainers every year, starting from £150. With the Basic plan you’ll get 2 sets of retainers (4 individual retainers) every year for only £150. Need a little extra? Ask for the Premium plan to get 3 sets of retainers (6 individual retainers) and a 360 Whitening Kit every year for £320.

Over time retainers become loose and so can allow the teeth to move back. That’s why you can benefit from a subscription like this. Brand new retainers in the ideal position keep your smile straight and fresh, by preventing any unwanted movement. Bonus! You can use them as whitening trays to keep your smile white too. This also allows you to never have to wear gross retainers, because overtime they wear down and can become a bit opaque as you wear them on a weekly basis.

Keep this in mind when choosing a teeth straightening solution. It’s not about the straightening only, it’s also all the after care service and guarantees.

Final thoughts

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 with fixed braces, wires, extractions and monthly adjustments for in some cases up to 4 years!

People 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 appliances.

We believe you should NEVER have to pay twice for braces, and that’s why we created our straight teeth guarantees and retainer subscription.

Teeth retainers FAQs

How to keep teeth straight after treatment?

  • The only possible way of keeping your teeth straight after an orthodontic treatment is by wearing retainers for teeth! Whether you opt for fixed, removable retainers or even a combination of both, it is imperative that you use them for the time specified by your dentist or provider.

Where can I get a retainer?

  • Typically you would be able to get retainers from your clinic or dentist. Due to advances in technology it is now possible to straighten your teeth and get retainers without needing to schedule an appointment and going to a clinic. Take Straight Teeth Direct and our Maintainer Plan as an example!

Are retainers free after braces?

  • Some clinics will offer you retainers for the first 12 months after treatment, others will charge you extra, some will even try to charge you extra without your prior consent! As a general rule of thumb, both offline and online aligner providers have no aftercare plan for regular retainer deliveries. At Straight Teeth Direct, on the other hand, we offer you the first set of retainers and created a special Basic and Premium Maintainer Plan to keep your smile straight for life!

Is it true that you have to wear retainers forever?

  • Yes, our teeth move over time whether we have braces or not so wearing a retainer, fixed and/ or removable can ensure proper maintenance and avoid unwanted movement. With clear removable retainers, the recommendation is to wear them day and night for the first 2 to 4 weeks (taking them out only to eat or drink and for your oral care routine!). After this first stage you will progressively start wearing them only at night for the following 6 months and then 3 nights a week after this. To be adjusted based on your dental needs.

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