In most cases, you will be required to wear a retainer once your orthodontic treatment plan is complete. The tissues and bone around the roots of your teeth take time to adjust to their new position and there is particular risk of the teeth shifting back in the early months after your brace is removed. Retainers may be removable or fixed, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Fixed retainers are as the name would suggest, permanent retainers that consists of a small wire affixed behind your upper or lower teeth. This type of retainer is completely invisible and is in place at all times. A high standard of tooth cleaning is required to avoid any gum problems. Your fixed brace does not require regular inspection, however, a visit to the orthodontist may be required in the event it breaks.
Removable retainers may be worn full time initially but reduced to night times later or night times only from the start of the retention period. Your orthodontist will advise you on when to wear your retainer. They are effective but obviously depend on the patient remembering to wear them. They will need occasional repair or replacement, a relatively simple task although you may be charged for a replacement.