When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers. Follow through with the hard work you've put in so far, and be sure to wear your retainers.

Care for Your Retainers

  • Since the retainer spends most of its time in your mouth, it gets covered with saliva, bacteria and leftover particles of food floating around in there. Most retainers can be cleaned with a small amount of regular toothpaste. After you're done brushing your teeth, just give your retainer a brushing — both top and bottom of the plastic piece, please.
  • To kill germs, just dip it into little bit of Listerine for 30 seconds to 1 minute but never let it soak for long periods of time.
  • Every week or so, it's a good idea to give your retainer a deep cleaning. To do so, you can use an effervescing denture-cleaning tablet. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the package. Rinse well.
  • Because the plastic in your retainer can warp if it is exposed to high temperatures, keep your retainer away from heat sources like a hot car or very hot foods or liquids.
  • Take care not to bite on your retainer. It can warp, or if you have retainers with wires, it can bend the wires. It will not fit the same way in your mouth.
  • Remember to always keep your retainer in its case when you are not wearing it or cleaning it. Putting it in its case will help protect it from cracking, getting chewed on by pets or getting lost.

Types of Retainers

Essix Retainers

retainer-essixThe Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign® trays, Essix retainers have no wires. They are inexpensive and easier to wear. They can be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges.

Fixed Lower Retainers

retainer-fixedBonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.

If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.

Hawley Retainers

retainer-hawleyThe Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. It is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and/or patterns.