When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention phase of your treatment that usually lasts for a minimum of 24 months. During this time retaining appliances (retainers) are fitted to hold the teeth steady in their new position. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth. If they are not worn according to instructions, the teeth may move back towards their original positions. It is important to remember that such retainers must be worn frequently enough and for long enough to keep them fitting comfortably. If the retainers are left out of the mouth for too long, the teeth will sometimes start to move and if this occurs, some discomfort may be experienced the next time the retainer is worn. If this occurs please contact our office for assistance.

The maintenance of the final orthodontic result often depends on how well you wear your retainer, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

Different Types of Retainers

Hawley Retainer

The Hawley retainer is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic that is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic helps to keep your teeth in position. Some laboratories also allow the acrylic to be personalized with a large number of colours and/or patterns.

Essix/Trutain Retainer

The Essix or Trutain retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign® trays, these retainers have no wires. They're easier to wear and are nearly invisible! They can also be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges.


Bonded Retainer

Bonded retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your front teeth. This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.

If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.