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Instructions on Wire Shaped Retainers (Hawleys)

Now that your teeth are straight your retainers and the way you wear them are a very crucial part to maintain your straight teeth and your correct bite. If you do not follow these instructions your teeth will move out of alignment!
You can now use your normal toothbrush as opposed to the brace toothbrushes you used when you had your braces.

When do I wear these retainers? You wear your retainers all the time, 24 hours, day and night including when you are sleeping and when you are eating. Your orthodontist tells you when you can cut down wearing them. Remember to wear your retainers tightly against your teeth. A loosely fitted retainer will not keep your teeth straight!

When can I take them out? You can take out your retainers on the following occasions:

1. When you are drinking acidic juices
2. When you are brushing your teeth
3. During contact sports
4. When you are swimming

How can I make sure I do not lose or damage them? You need to either make a hard box for them or you can buy one from the reception. When the retainers are out of your mouth, even for a few minutes, you must put them in the box otherwise you will lose or break them. The breakages can be repaired most of the time without any charge to you. The NHS will charge you for making new retainers if you have lost them or broken them beyond repair. Your teeth will get crooked again without them. The common mistake is to put your retainers in your pocket or wrap them in tissues.

How can I clean them? On a daily basis, you need to brush them with a toothbrush under running water. Do not use toothpaste when you are brushing them.. You need to use a special cleaner called “Retainer Brite ®” at least once a week. It comes with instructions and you can buy it from the reception or the big chemists.

Do I need to come back to check my retainers? Yes! You usually come back in 3 months time to have your teeth and your retainers checked. If you miss your appointment, we will not contact you to make a new one and if we do not hear from you soon, we will close your case with the NHS. If there are any problems with your retainers you need to contact the practice asap! Remember, if you do not wear your retainers even for a short period of time, your teeth will move!
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