A retainer is a custom-made orthodontic appliance that is designed to hold the position of the teeth after surgery or any other realignment method. After the braces are removed, the teeth will need to settle into the jawbone and soft tissue that hold them in place, the retainers will keep the teeth from shifting.
This is the most common type of retainer and is anchored in an acrylic arch that rests on the roof of the mouth is embedded with wires and clasps. Selected teeth are grasped by the clasps so the retainer remains anchored securely, the “bow” wire arches across the front of the teeth to hold and maintain the alignment.
These retainers are thin and transparent plastic that is custom-made to fit precisely over the teeth. The advantage with this design is that it is less noticeable, almost invisible when being worn but it sacrifices durability.
These are also called “bonded” or “permanent” retainers and as the name states the retainer consists of a wire that is wire bonded to the backside of the front teeth. These retainers don’t touch the back teeth since it’s not possible to have a wire that goes around the entire mouth. Since these are attached to your teeth they have to be removed by a dental professional.