Retention phase is essential after all forms of active orthodontic treatment for the following rationale: (1) to allow time for the gingival and periodontal tissues to reorganize after orthodontic treatment, (2) after tooth movement, the teeth may be in unstable condition which can relapse due to presence of soft tissue pressures, (3) growth changes may alter orthodontic treatment results and (4) allow for neuromuscular adaptation to the new tooth position.
For post treatment stability, there should be gradual withdrawal of orthodontic control pf tooth movement and occlusal relationships. The type of retainer is important and should therefore be incorporated in the treatment plan. Retainer can either be fixed or removable and each has different treatment indications. An example of a fixed retainer is the bonded cuspid to cuspid retainer and examples of the removable retainers are the Hawley Retainers and Wraparound Retainers.
Retention 101 – http://www.costbraces.org/retention
by Dr. Karla Patricia Camello