Orthodontic Retention

All About Orthodontic Retention

Orthodontic Retention in St. Peters, Missouri

When you receive orthodontic treatment like braces, you want the results to last. The retention phase of treatment keeps your teeth in their new positions so you can maintain your beautiful smile.

At Unger Orthodontics, we create customized retainers to ensure your teeth stay straight and healthy after treatment.

Hand displaying Invisalign

What Are Teeth Retainers Used for?

Retainers are orthodontic devices designed to hold your teeth in place. Orthodontists typically prescribe retainers after braces treatment to help maintain the new positions of your teeth. In some cases, a patient may wear a retainer to move a single tooth or close a gap between two teeth.

Retainers can also be used to treat tongue thrust — a condition where the tongue presses too far forward when speaking, swallowing and resting. Retainers can be specially designed to train the tongue not to push forward.

Types of Dental Retainers

Depending on your specific needs, we'll recommend one of the following types of teeth retainers:

Young girl wearing braces

Hawley Retainers

A Hawley retainer is a removable option comprising an acrylic arch and a metal wire. It is custom-made, so the arch fits comfortably in the roof of your mouth and the wire holds your teeth in place. We may adjust the wire periodically to ensure your teeth remain in their proper positions.

Fixed Retainers

A fixed retainer — also known as a lingual retainer — is permanently attached to the back of your bottom front teeth. It usually consists of a single wire cemented in place. Fixed retainers are typically used when your teeth have moved quickly or substantially.

Woman wearing a fixed retainer
Portrait of beautiful patient holding orthodontic retainers in dental clinic

Clear Plastic Retainers

A clear retainer is a removable device made of clear plastic. It is virtually invisible, with no metal wires. We create your clear retainer using a mold of your newly aligned teeth to provide the perfect fit.

Mouth Retainer Care

Proper mouth retainer maintenance is essential to keeping your teeth in alignment and preventing plaque, bacteria and tartar buildup. You can follow a few simple maintenance tips based on the type of retainer you have.

Tips for Hawley and Clear Retainers

Clean the inside and outside of these removable retainers thoroughly and frequently. You can clean a Hawley retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush, lukewarm water and a mild soap or cleaning solution. For clear retainers, use a cotton swab or specialized cleaner, as toothbrush bristles can damage the plastic.

You should also store your removable retainer in a protective case whenever you're eating, drinking or brushing your teeth.

Tips for Fixed Retainers

Clean under your retainer wire to remove trapped food, plaque and other debris. A floss threader is a great tool for getting under the wire.

Your Trusted Source for Orthodontic Retainers

At Unger Orthodontics, we help you maximize your orthodontic treatment results with customized dental retainers. We'll recommend the best retainer for your teeth, and we'll provide specific guidance for how long and how often you should wear it.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our dental retainer options and schedule a consultation.

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We look forward to helping you keep a beautiful smile for life!