Essix Retainers | Fixed Retainers | Hawley Retainers | Care Instructions

When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase is a lifetime commitment. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Retainers are custom made to ensure your teeth will remain in their corrected position while your bones and gums adapt to the change. Patient compliance is needed to prevent shifting of corrected teeth during this final phase of orthodontic treatment. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

Essix Retainers

The 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 invisible and easier to wear!


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Fixed Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). 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.

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Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainers are custom made from the final molding of your teeth.  It consists of wire in the front of you teeth and acrylic coverage on your palate and gum.  Hawley retainers may feel bulky and uncomfortable, but they are more durable.

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Care Instructions

  • Wear your retainer as instructed by Dr. Lee. (She will let you know if retainers should be worn either all day or at nighttime only)
  • Take your retainer out when eating and immediately put it in the retainer case! (The majority of retainers are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants when they are set on trays or in napkins and thrown away by accident.)
  • Clean your retainer thoroughly with a toothbrush, toothpaste and room temperature water twice a day. Brushing your retainer is the best method to remove plaque and eliminate odors. Orthodontic Appliance cleaners such as retainer brite cleaning tablets or Efferdent® can also be used every few days, but should not take the place of brushing.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. They can easily be lost and pets love to chew on them!
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, and the washing machine as heat will damage your retainer.
  • At first, you may find it difficult to speak with your retainer. You can get used to it quicker by practicing speaking, reading, and singing out loud.
  • Please treat your retainer with care – it is breakable! If your retainer is lost or broken, please call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or your retainer needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself as you may cause damage.
  • It is important to always bring your retainer to your appointments so it can be checked.


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