After your braces are removed, retainers are extremely important in order to hold the teeth in their proper positions.  Teeth tend to return to their old positions unless retained until the surrounding tissues, lips and tongue have adapted to the new tooth positions.  We use several types and combinations of retainers: upper and lower removable acrylic retainers with wire bows, clear "Invisalign style" retainers and fixed/bonded retainers (a small wire glued/bonded to the back of the lower front and occasionally the upper front teeth).  You will need to wear your retainers as instructed in order to maintain your final orthodontic result.  Remember to remove your removable retainer(s) before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.  You must be very careful when handling removable retainers as they are fragile and costly to replace.  You are given a special case for your retainer and need to be sure to keep it in this case when not wearing it!  You are given specific information on how to clean your retainers depending on which type you have.  Your retainers should be worn at all times with the exception of eating and brushing your teeth.  Your retainers should also be removed when participating in sports that require a mouth guard or while swimming.  After six months of full-time wear, we may revise your retention treatment, allowing the retainer to be worn at night only.