When your teeth have been aligned into position and the desired end-result is achieved, they need to be stabilized until your bone, gums, and muscles have adapted to the new tooth positions. This stage is called retention and follows the removal of the active braces.
Unless retainers are worn as instructed, your teeth may move back towards their original positions and some of the benefits of your treatment will be lost. The retainer wear regime varies with each patient, and in some cases permanent retention may be advised. In these instances, thin metal wires are bonded to the inside surfaces of the anterior teeth either in addition to or instead of removable retainers.