My orthodontist says I need a period of 'retention' with a 'removable' retainer. Is there any other alternative?

Retainers can be removable or fixed. In some cases, the retainers may be worn for a short period of time. In other cases, they may be worn indefinitely. The orthodontist will determine which type of retainers would be suitable and the amount of time your retainers should be worn. Removable retainers are made of plastic with a wire at the front, and they can be removed for cleaning. 'Fixed retainers' consists of a small piece of wire that is fixed to the back of your front teeth and have the advantage to removable retainers in that they are 'invisible'.

My Orthodontist told me that I don't need to wear my retainers anymore. Can I throw them away?

Retainers are for life! Teeth continue to move as we get older, regardless of whether we had braces or not. In general, these movements are small and may not be noticeable until after many years. Keeping your retainers and wearing them occasionally during the week can ensure that this natural tooth movement is kept to a minimum.

Why do I need to wear retainers after my braces are removed?

Your teeth will not be stable at the completion of orthodontic treatment since they have been moved to their new position by 'force'. Teeth have a tendency to move back to their original position after the braces are removed. The orthodontist asks you to wear the retainers so that the gums and the supporting bone can adapt to the new position of the teeth and the teeth will be less likely to move.