Why should I wear retainers after my orthodontic treatments?

Without exception

all patients in our practice go through the retention phase of treatment. Retention begins when the braces are removed. If the teeth are not maintained in their corrected position, they will begin to move over a period of time. Patients in the retention phase are seen periodically in our office for two years after braces are removed. Once the follow-up period is over, please call the office if a problem should occur.

Typically, a removable retainer is worn 24 hours for the first two days, then at night for the next few years.

A bonded retainer should be worn permanently until further notice. Please call our office if there are any concerns.

For best long term results after an orthodontic treatment:

  • Wear your retainer as prescribed
  • Don’t let it get bent or otherwise damaged
  • Call for a repair appointment if it is damaged or loosened
  • Keep it clean, floss regularly
  • Keep it in its case when not being worn
  • Be committed to maintaining your beautiful smile

Fixed wire

The most frequent appliance that we use to stabilize the lower jaw is a fixed wire.


  • The wire is placed on the inside of the lower teeth which makes it practically invisible.
  • It is glued on the teeth therefore the patient cannot remove it by himself.
  • As long as a good hygiene is maintained, the wire can stay in place for many years.
  • If it should unglue or fall off completely contact our office and we will evaluate if it should be reinstalled.
  • The wire can be reglued so it is very important to never throw it away!

Transparent retainer

The orthodontist will determine which appliance is best suited for you.
For the upper jaw a removable retainer is often used.

The most common one is called ESSIX, which is a transparent plastic gutter that covers all the teeth.

This appliance must be worn all day for the first 2 days excluding meals and brushing, and then at night only for a minimum of 2 years. There may be eventual signs of small cracks and wear but stay assured it does not affect the efficiency of the retainer.

If the appliance breaks completely and you are unable to wear it please contact us.

HAWLEY retainer

We also use another type of removable retainer called HAWLEY.

It is composed of acrylic, there are hooks for the back molars and a front metal wire which is used to keep the teeth in the correct position.
This retainer must also be worn all day for the first 2 days and then at night only as per our instructions.