Once orthodontic treatment is complete the teeth should be retained in their new position.

In young children the teeth are retained by an upper removal retainer plate usually worn for 2-3 months full-time and then at nights (for sleeping).

Below are examples of upper removable retainer plates.

In adolescents and adults the teeth are retained by bonding permanent retaining wires (small metal wires) behind the upper and lower six front teeth. Clear upper and lower removable retainer plates are also issued for night-time wear.

Below are photos of the retaining wires and clear removable plates.

Retention is a life time requirement to ensure your teeth do not move, so ideally the wires should remain bonded behind the upper and lower six front teeth permanently and the plates should be worn every nightly for the rest of your life.

Often people are unaware that their teeth are moving throughout their life. This is similar to “getting grey hair and wrinkles” it happens to everyone and is part of the aging process.

Retaining the end result will require unavoidable, lifetime maintenance but this is minimal in terms of time and cost versus a second course of orthodontic treatment later in life.