At the end of active treatment, once your teeth are aligned, we go into the retention phase. This aims to retain/maintain your teeth in their new positions. Some background information is useful. Your bone and soft tissues (gums) take approximately 9 to 10 months to adapt after teeth have been moved. Teeth also try to move back towards their original positions. There is also some natural tooth movement leading to crowding during your late teens. Teeth can also drift and move throughout your lifetime. For these reasons we advise patients to wear their retainers for a minimum of one year but to continue for as many years as possible. We often advise permanent retention for our adult patients.
We provide all of our patients with removable retainers to be worn at night. Another option is bonded or fixed retainers. These are wires which are bonded/stuck behind your front teeth as an additional form of retention although not an absolute guarantee of stability.