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Which retainer after braces?

(10 Posts)
cuphat Mon 04-May-15 10:01:51


I am due to have my braces off soon and would appreciate any experiences or advice regarding the different retainer types. I will still have small gaps between my back teeth as I am choosing to have the braces off early (I am due to have my second baby by c-section and there is no way I will manage getting to the appointments with a baby and a toddler. Or have time to deal with the extra dental care required).

I've been told I will have to wear the retainer full time for 3-4 months and then overnight for life.

The options I have been given are:

1) Wire retainer
- Apparently these are very unlikely to break
- They will close the gaps further (although the gaps don't really bother me as you can't really see them).
- The orthodontist said it should last for life
- They're visible
- They may affect my speech for a while. If this will be for just a few days it won't bother me but I wouldn't want it to be affected for any longer than this.
- The orthodontist didn't mention this but people on the net say they don't hold your teeth in place properly?!

2) Clear retainers
- Almost invisible
- According to the net these hold teeth in place better than wire retainers?
- Don't affect speech?
- Won't close the gaps
- Apparently they're easy to lose/ throw away accidentally and don't last for long.

3) Clear retainers with wax added so that gaps can close further
- Almost invisible
- Gaps may close further
- Hold teeth in place better than wire retainers?
- Don't affect speech?
- I would probably need further appointments if they become loose. Which would be difficult for me to get to and would would defeat the purpose of having the braces off soon.
- Would be easy to lose/ throw away and don't last for long.

I have ruled out the fixed wire behind my teeth as I have been told that these can come off easily and would also require extra dental care.

If anyone has any experiences or advice I would be very grateful as I am confused by the options!


Pico2 Mon 04-May-15 10:12:02

I have a wire retainer on my bottom teeth from the 3 to the other 3 and only glued to the end teeth which makes it easier to clean. I've had it for 20 years now and haven't had any problems from it. It hasn't come off and is fine for cleaning. In contrast to me, DH hasn't got one and his lower front teeth have crowded again. While it is visible, you have to be at quite an odd angle to see it, so only DD has commented on it.

cuphat Mon 04-May-15 10:25:23

Thank you. It's good to know that the glued type has stayed on for that long! And that cleaning hasn't been a problem. I was imagining that they'd come off every few months!

When I say that option number 1 is a wire retainer I should clarify that I meant a removable one where there is plastic on the roof of your mouth and the wire is visible on the front of your teeth (the options are for my top teeth). The visibility doesn't bother me too much as I will only wear it during the day for a few months.

ShootTheMoon Mon 04-May-15 10:37:52

I had braces and surgery last year. I have fixed permanent wires behind my top and bottom front teeth. They don't bother me at all and just need the TiPi brushes between my teeth to clean the wire, plus good general hygiene. I would highly recommend this option; 8 months on and my teeth haven't moved much at all.

I also wear a wire retainer on the top at night and a clear fitted plastic retainer (over my teeth, like a mouthguard) on the bottom. They don't bother me but I had ground holes in the bottom one within a few weeks (I'm a bruxist).

The wire one usually gets bent back a bit at my 6 monthly checks.

Honestly, I'd highly recommend the fixed permanent wires - I have had no trouble and they don't hurt, and they're not noticeable. After all the faff of braces I want my teeth to stay perfect grin

I had various bands post-surgery and had to wear my retainers 23/7 when I first got them - they're a faff and you can't drink or eat in them. With a newborn you'll never manage to get them cleaned up and back in your mouth again! I have a colleague who wears Invisalign and they're never actually on her teeth as she hardly wears them!

ShootTheMoon Mon 04-May-15 10:42:13

(Ps I'm early 30s with a pre-schooler and pregnant with DC2 so I know what you mean about appointments and lack of time smile)

nickersinaknot Mon 04-May-15 11:00:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cuphat Mon 04-May-15 11:10:41

Thanks very much, ShootTheMoon.

I was offered surgery (I have had my braces on the NHS) but refused it as I had DD and really didn't want to go through with it then. Also, although my lower jaw is out of place, I'm happy with my profile and really didn't want to change it. They said they would attempt to correct my bite using braces and apparently this has been successful. I wanted braces because one of my front teeth stuck out a lot after being pushed forward when my wisdom teeth came through; this was fixed after just a few months so after nearly two years I am more than ready to have these braces off now!

It's good to know that you haven't had any problems with the fixed wires either. A senior orthodontist came over to check my teeth and presumed that I'd be having a fixed retainer however my orthodontist said that he doesn't normally go for those due to the reasons listed in my first post (which clearly aren't always the case!).

I hate TePe brushes - they break regularly when I use them and I go through so many! I'm hoping to see the back of them!

Actually, now you mention it I do recall reading that grinding can damage the clear retainers. I do find myself clenching my teeth tightly every now and again so maybe they will be best avoided.

And the cleaning is another good point! I think the removable wire ones would be much quicker to clean than the clear mouthguard type ones as it's only really the roof of the mouth bit that needs cleaning. Definitely important with a newborn; I barely had time to eat or drink when DD was born, never mind extra cleaning!

cuphat Mon 04-May-15 11:15:10

And thanks nickers!

I think because I have to wear them full time for 3-4 months that's why I'm more likely to lose them. The orthodontist said that lots of people put them in a tissue while they're eating and they get thrown away accidentally. I'm forever losing those little elastic bands when I take them out to eat (when I put them on my plate, forget about them and the plate gets taken away before I realise!)!

ShootTheMoon Mon 04-May-15 11:26:10

Yes, the surgery was a bit intimidating but as I had an anterior open bite that was getting worse, it was my only option really. I am very much enjoying being able to bite through a sandwich or pizza or whatever, and to be able to bite into whole apples smile. The surgery was fine actually, just a few weeks of recovery and almost no pain, just discomfort. A very fat face though. And I had to promise not to get pregnant before my surgery grin.

I guess your other option with fixed wires would be to clean, say, weekly with TePe and use mouthwash, and just make sure you get to the hygienist periodically. Honestly I'd massively recommend them, they really are the best option for long term fixing. But best of luck with whatever you do choose.

cuphat Mon 04-May-15 12:22:19

Thank you so much. I'm really glad it worked well for you. I'm shock at the having to promise not to get pregnant! I'm definitely glad I didn't opt for that option then! But I'm mid thirties and wouldn't have wanted to delay having children any longer because of my teeth.

Thanks very much for the advice - much appreciated smile

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