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Retainers are worn after orthodontic treatment to ensure the teeth stay in the positions they have been moved into. It is natural for your teeth to want to go back to their original positions and we see retention as a long term plan to keep the “smile we shaped”.

In most cases removable night time retention lasts for 18 months and fixed retention can be recommended until the patient is in their twenties. Adult retention is normally advised as a lifelong commitment.

Removable retainers can consist of either:

  • a thin piece of plastic worn on the roof and/or bed of the mouth, with a wire across the teeth.
  • Essix retainer: a very thin sheet of moulded clear plastic which fits over the upper and lower teeth.


Fixed retainers are fine wires glued (bonded) behind the upper and lower front teeth