Following the cessation of active orthodontic tooth movement, retention is the phase of orthodontic treatment which maintains the teeth in their orthodontically corrected positions. Orthodontic retainers resist the tendency of teeth to return to their pre-treatment positions under the influence of periodontal, occlusal and soft tissue forces, and continuing dentofacial growth. Retention is advisable for almost all treated malocclusions.
Removable retainers with a labial bow (Hawley and Begg type retainers)
These retainers are robust and can be worn during day and night time. A retention regime with Hawley retainers of 6 months full time wear followed by 6 months nights only has been recommended as it has been shown to be associated with less relapse.
Fixed bonded retainers
Fixed retainers are indicated for long-term retention. Fixed retainers are discreet and reduce the demands on patient compliance.