Orthodontic Retainers

We want your smile to stay beautiful and straight for years to come! To make sure that happens, you have important responsibilities as a patient post-treatment, which are outlined below.

Once the orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the orthodontic correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are solidifying and being stabilized for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could lead to needing re-treatment.

Types of Orthodontic Retainers

Removable Retainers

Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we recommend that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers as much as possible for the first few months following the removal of braces. After the first few months, the patient can wear the orthodontic retainers just at night. 

Hawley Retainer

Hawley’s are the traditional retainer, made of acrylic and stainless steel wires. 

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Clear Retainer

Made of clear plastic and looks like a clear aligner, such as Invisalign.

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How to Care for Removable Retainers

Clean your retainer before and after placing it in your mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.

  • Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards, or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
  • Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
  • Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.

Because retainers are worn for man years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or become loose or break, contact our office immediately.

Fixed Retainers (Bonded Wire)

This wire is intended to stay on forever. The only exception is if your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause gum or bone problems. If this should occur, please contact our office to have the wire removed and replaced with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Moin prescribes. The fixed wire will maintain the alignment of the front teeth as the patient gets older and your facial muscles get tighter. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month checkups.

Permanent Lower Retainer

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Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.