Retaining devices are worn after braces and are usually intended to keep your teeth straight rather than move them. There are two main types of teeth retainer: a fixed retainer (also known as a bonded or permanent retainer) or one that can be removed such as an Essix or Hawley retainer.
Both removable and fixed retainers will keep your teeth straight for years to come, as long as you keep wearing them as your Orthodontist advises! You can get a retaining device for the upper or lower teeth only, or for both – usually corresponding to where your braces were placed.
Unless retainers are worn as instructed, your teeth may move back towards their original positions and some of the benefits of your treatment will be lost. Many retainers are a comfortable clear mouthguard style design that can be worn while you sleep.
The length of time a retainer will need to be worn varies with each patient, in some cases permanent retention may be advised. In these instances, thin metal wires are bonded to the inside surfaces of the anterior teeth either in addition to or instead of removable retainers.