Why wear retainers?

I would argue that the most important part of orthodontics is wearing retainers at the end of treatment.  Without these custom made appliances all your hard work of wearing braces can be undone, and you didn’t go through all that trouble and expense for your teeth to move, did you? So whilst your teeth are looking great and you’ve finally got that smile to be proud of, don’t neglect the retainers you are provided with! All orthodontic treatment at Cotswold Orthodontics is finished off with custom made retainers, usually these are clear plastic retainers which are vacuum formed on the model we take of your teeth. This means they are a tight fit, so your teeth won’t be moving anywhere, as long as you wear them as instructed. Generally the advice we give is to wear the retainers full time for the first week and then night times only.

Cleaning your Removable Retainers

You remove these retainers when brushing your teeth and eating, as well as when you drink anything other than water. You can clean the retainers with your toothbrush after you have used it to brush your teeth, its best to avoid putting toothpaste directly onto the retainers as this can make them brittle and they can turn opaque. 

We stock a product called Effer-ves which is a tablet you pop into water and then you can soak your retainer for up to 15 minutes to give them a really good clean, this can be used once a week or more often if required. If you experience any problems with your retainers, cracks, breakages etc you should contact the practice as soon as possible. There is a charge to replace retainers, these charges are detailed on our fees page.

Fixed / Bonded Retainers

Sometimes at the end of treatment you may be fitted with a permanent retainer which we call a bonded retainer, this is a really thin piece of wire which sits behind your front teeth. You can’t see it and after a week or so you won’t even notice it.


These wires are designed to stop teeth movement but you may be asked to wear a removable Essix retainer at the same time, a sort of ‘belt and braces’ approach if you like! These retainers can last many years but there is no guarantee, they can break and if they do you should contact us. As soon as you notice a breakage you should wear your removable retainer to stop any possible movement, so it’s important to keep your removable retainer somewhere safe if you are no longer wearing it! There is a charge to replace and repair bonded retainers, this is detailed on the fees page of the website.

Cleaning your Bonded Retainer

To help keep your bonded retainer clean it is important to floss, conventional floss which pushes down from the top of the teeth won’t do the job so we stock Super Floss, this is a great product which has a stiffened end which allows you to thread it underneath the retainer to be able to floss. You can also try using fine interdental brushes which many of the supermarkets stock.