The retention phase

Congratulations, your braces are being removed! You’re not quite done with us yet though; now the retention phase starts. This is the period in which the teeth and/or jaws are no longer actively moved but rather kept in place using a retainer bar.

You will still come to us for check-ups to see if the end result is stable, but much less often than during your braces treatment.

A displaced tooth or jaw often tends to return to its former position. There is still little known about the reason for this. It is best to keep this retainer splint in your mouth for as long as possible (we recommend your whole life).

If the splint comes loose or is damaged, please call us as soon as possible during practice opening hours to make an appointment to have it looked at. Until then, please check our website outside of practice opening hours to see what you should do.

In most cases, you will notice immediately if your splint has come loose:

    • You can hear or feel the adhesive detach;
    • you feel tension on a tooth;
    • your splint feels sharp;
    • if your teeth are shifting, your splint is most likely loose.

Pay special attention to brushing the back of the front teeth. As with braces, it is impossible to floss between your front teeth (unless you pick up Superfloss at the drugstore). You can use a small brush or toothpick to clean between the front teeth.

Sometimes you have to wear a nightguard after the treatment in addition to the retainer splints. If this is the case, it would have been discussed with you during the treatment plan or recently. If you have lost the retainer or it no longer fits, please make an appointment.

If you would like to have ‘extra security’, you can get a night bite for the upper and/or lower jaw by choosing an IOR (invisible orthodontic retainer), which costs approximately €80. If something ever happens to your retainer splint, the IOR reduces the risk of your teeth shifting. Decide if this is something you would like and inform us about your decision at your first check-up. If you like, the moulds can be arranged during the appointment.