When the correctional phase is completed, your braces are removed. The next step is called retention. Retainers are used to hold your teeth in their newly corrected positions until your bone, gums, and muscles are acclimated.

You must wear your retainer as instructed, otherwise your teeth may relapse and lose their corrected alignment. The time scale varies with each patient. In some cases, permanent retention may be necessary or advisable.  In these instances, a thin metal wire is attached to the inside surfaces of the anterior teeth either in addition to or instead of removable retainers.

The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected. Remember to wear them in your mouth, and not in your pocket!

Retainers work when you follow our instructions:

  • Wear them as instructed
  • Take them off for every meal
  • Clean after every meal
  • Clean all parts with a brush
  • Handle with care
  • Retainers are easy to lose.  Whenever you take them out, remember to place them in your retainer box immediately for safety.

Examples of retainers

Essix retainers

18. Essix retainers

Fixed retainers


 Hawley retainers

18. Lower Hawley  18. Upper Hawley