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Once the active period is completed, your braces are removed. The next step is called retention. Retainers are utilised to hold your teeth in their new position until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. You must wear your retainer as instructed, otherwise your teeth may move toward their original positions and the benefit of wearing your braces will be lost.

The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected. Remember to wear them in your mouth, not in your pocket. Retainers work when you follow our instructions:

  • Clean after every meal
  • Clean all parts with a brush
  • Handle with care  
Retainers are easy to lose; if you take them out remember to place them in your retainer case for safety.

How to clean your retainer?
Soak them in denture cleaner while they are out of your mouth. Rinse well after soaking. Don’t use toothpaste on them! If you ever feel the need to disinfect your retainers, do not boil them. This will change their shape, and they will no longer fit in your mouth.

Types of retainer
A) Hawley retainers:
This type of retainer has the added benefit of being adjustable so that minor tooth movement is possible. 


  • Durable and long lasting
  • Since they don’t cover the tops of the teeth, the teeth can settle into a natural occlusion
  • Minor movements can be made with these retainers, such as closing small spaces
  • Easy to remove to eat, brush, floss


  • They have a metal wire which can be seen across the front of your teeth when worn. (After the first year, they are worn only at night though)
  • Since they are removable they can be lost, eaten by dogs, etc
  • They aren’t able to maintain torque (the way the roots were tipped when correcting your malocclusion) correction as well as other types of retainers
  • They are more expensive to replace than other types of retainers

B) Removable retainers
a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign trays, have no wires. They are inexpensive and easier to wear.


  • Nearly invisible (it’s very similar to invisalign)
  • If there is minor shift of teeth (if you miss a couple of days of retainer wear), they are excellent at moving the teeth back to their original position
  • Excellent retention and maintenance of torque (the way the roots were tipped when correcting your malocclusion)
  • They are the least expensive retainer to replace if you lose it
  • You can remove it to brush/floss/eat


  • They don’t last as long as hawley retainers and usually need to be replaced every 1-2 years
  • It is usually not advisable to wear this type of retainer on top and bottom long term since it can lead to heavier contact on your front teeth.

C) Fixed retainer:

glued to the back of your teeth. It is a thin wire that usually is placed from canine to canine. It cannot be seen when you smile or talk. In fact, most people forget it is there.


  • You can’t lose it
  • You can’t see it when you smile
  • Is bonded to every tooth to minimize the chances of teeth moving


  • They are tough to keep clean.  You need to use floss threaders to floss under them
  • Dental cleaning take longer since they hygenist must clean around the wire very carefully so it doesn’t break off
  • Contact sports or biting very hard things with your front teeth can sometimes cause it to break