Orthodontic Retention

You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!

To keep your smile looking its best, you will need to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers control or limit potential changes in tooth position and hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.

Types of Retainers

Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.

  • Traditional removable retainers typically include 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.
  • Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, are made of a high-tech clear plastic and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. 
  • Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. 

General Retainer Instructions

  • Wear your retainers as instructed.
  • Take your retainers out when eating and always put retainers in their case! (Many appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
  • It is important to thoroughly brush and floss around fixed retainers.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately. 
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive; with proper care they will last for years!
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.