This is a normal part of ageing, and things may start shifting back to their original positions or even new positions. Retainers are fitted to support the teeth in their new positions and it is important to wear them as instructed. The only way to keep your teeth perfectly straight forever is to continue wearing the retainers periodically. While the amount of drifting of the teeth after reaching full maturity is usually minimal and acceptable to most people, however, some treatments are intrinsically unstable and require lifelong wearing of retainers to avoid a substantial relapse.
Generally, there are two types of Retainers:
- Removable retainers: Traditional removable retainers have a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed. Another variety of removable retainer is Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, which look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers.
- Fixed retainers: Fixed Retainers consists of a retainer wire, which is bonded to the inner surfaces of the front teeth. A dentist or orthodontist must check the fixed retaining wire at least every year.