Once braces have completely repositioned the teeth, they are removed and are then generally replaced with a retainer. Retainers are essential to keep newly positioned teeth in place and to prevent teeth from going back to their previous positions.
Retainers can be either fixed or removable. A permanent or fixed retainer is a length of wire shaped to fit the back of the teeth and cemented into position. A removable retainer, as the name implies, can be fitted and removed at will.
Removable retainers are either clear plastic retainers or plates. Plate retainers are custom designed to fit to the roof of the mouth and are generally made of acrylic. Clear retainers are a very thin type of mouthguard, where the plastic sheet is heated and vacuum formed onto the plaster model of your teeth. Please note that these appliances must not be used as either a sports mouthguard or as a bleaching tray.
Removable retainers should be worn according to the guidelines set out by your orthodontist. This is usually wearing full time for three months followed night-time wear every night when going to bed. Please do not wear your retainers when eating, swimming or playing sport.