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What is a retainer?
Retainers are fitted at the end of orthodontic treatment after the braces are removed. Retainers are designed to minimise unwanted movement of teeth after orthodontic alignment ie. relapse. Retainers normally need to be worn indefinitely, as long as you want your teeth to remain straight. Retainers can be either removable or fixed onto the teeth and there are different types of retainers. The choice of retainer is affected by a number of different factors and your orthodontist will explain which retainer is best for you. Sometimes you will be recommended to wear more than one type of retainer to reduce the chances of relapse.
Should teeth be straightened for health reasons?
The correction of poor dental positioning also improves oral hygiene, as crowded or crooked teeth are often hard to clean properly. With such an improvement, the risk of gum disease for example – which can result in loss of teeth in extreme cases – is prevented.