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At the end of orthodontic treatment you will be given retainers to wear. These can be removable or fixed and are designed to maintain your teeth in their newly straightened position. It is very important to wear some sort of retainer after your braces have been removed to stop the teeth from moving.

Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and cleaning and are usually worn in the evening and while sleeping. Your orthodontist will recommend how long you need to wear them for.

Are all retainers the same?

There are a variety of retainer types including:

Vacuum-formed retainer – this is a clear retainer that grips the teeth firmly in position. It is usually worn part–time and taken out when eating or drinking.

Bonded retainer – this is fixed onto the teeth, usually discreetly on the inside. This means you won’t forget to wear your retainer, but you must remember to clean it thoroughly.

Hawley retainer – This is a strong removable retainer made of plastic that fits either behind your lower teeth or in your palate behind the upper teeth. It usually has a thin metal wire that runs across your front teeth to maintain their position.