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Once you have completed your active treatment, it is important to stabilise and maintain the teeth in their new positions using Retainers. Without them, your teeth are likely to relapse to some degree and another course of treatment will be required to straighten them again. Generally, they are worn full time for the first 3 months, phasing down to every night for a further 3 months. If you want your teeth to remain straight, it is advisable that you keep your retainers and wear them at least 2-3 nights per week for the long term.
Retainers are custom made and are divided into:

hidden / fixed bonded retainers

These are special fine wires that are bonded/stuck to the back of the teeth so it is hidden from view.

removable retainers

There are basically two types of removable retainers. One is made from wires and hard plastic and the other is a thin soft clear plastic not dissimilar to that of bleaching trays.

After a thorough assessment, your Orthodontist will be able to determine which retainer or combination of retainers is suitable in your case.