A vacuum formed retainer is a thin brace made from a sheet of clear plastic, which looks similar to a gum shield in shape.
This retainer is needed to stop teeth moving back after the fixed brace is removed.
The vacuum formed retainer prevents any movement of the teeth and is easy to wear. This makes it popular with many patients.
Sometimes a Hawley retainer made of plastic and wire is better because it is stronger and allows for the back teeth to settle slightly.
Your Orthodontist will provide the retainer for use after the removal of your fixed brace.
You will need to wear the retainer at nights.
You will need to wear the retainer for at least one year following the removal of your brace. Many orthodontists now recommend wearing your retainer until all growth ceases at around 22 years of age.
Your teeth will almost certainly move if you don’t use your retainer as recommended.
You should use a toothbrush and soap. Do not use toothpaste as some products can damage the plastic of the retainer. If you are cleaning the retainer over the sink, as a precaution put water in the sink in case you drop the retainer. Proprietary cleaning agents are available.
You will need to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible for a replacement.