Retainers are used to hold your teeth in their new position after braces have done their job and keep them straight. There are two main types of retainers, fixed or removable.
Fixed retainer – this is fixed in place by the orthodontist and attached to the back of your front six teeth. As this retainer is not removable you need to take some extra care when brushing your teeth to make sure you are cleaning your teeth effectively around it.
Removable retainer – this type of retainer, you can take in and out yourself and is removed when eating and cleaning your teeth. After an initial period of full-time wear, removable retainers only need to be worn at night for the first year and then a couple of nights a week for as long as you would like your teeth to remain straight i.e. indefinitiely.