Retainers are the next step after your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Scott Werner. A retainer ensures your teeth do not shift back into their original position. Our orthodontist will go over this with you during your initial consultation and at the end of your treatment at Memphis Orthodontic Specialist. Call 901-767-5415 to schedule yours today, and learn about our retainers in Memphis, Tennessee.
What Is a Retainer?
Retainers are a type of orthodontic appliance. They are custom-made to fit your teeth and smile perfectly, and work to help keep your teeth properly aligned after you complete orthodontic treatment. Without a retainer, your teeth may regress back to their previous positions. Retainers ensure that your teeth stay in their new, properly aligned positions, giving you optimal oral health and function as well as a beautiful smile.
Types of Retainers
There are several types of retainers which our orthodontist may recommend. After completing your treatment, we will discuss the different types of retainers with you to find which one will be most beneficial for you. Types of retainers include:
- Hawley Retainers: This type of retainer consists of wires and clasps embedded in a plastic body. A retainer for your upper arch will cover the roof of the mouth, while a retainer for the lower arch will lie alongside the tongue-side of the teeth. The clasps fit around your teeth to anchor the retainer in place, and the wire of the retainer arches across the front of the teeth to help maintain their alignment.
- Clear Retainers: Clear retainers are made of clear plastic and fit snugly over the teeth, similar to how an Invisalign® clear aligner fits. This type of retainer is more discreet but may not be as durable as a Hawley retainer.
Caring For Your Retainer
Our orthodontist will provide you with instructions on how to wear your retainer and how to care for the appliance to keep it in good condition. We recommend that you:
- Wear your retainer as directed.
- Clean it regularly by brushing it with cool water.
- Remove the retainer when eating.
- When not wearing the retainer, keep it in a designated container to avoid accidentally misplacing it.
- Brush your teeth before putting your retainer back in.
- Avoid biting down or snapping the retainer into place — we recommend using your hands to avoid damage to your retainer.
- Avoid foods that could damage your retainer, such as sticky, chewy, or hard foods.
- Do not boil or use hot water to clean your retainer, clean it with alcohol, put it in the dishwasher or leave it on a hot car dash.
- Do not leave your retainer while small children or pets can reach it.
- Do not use toothpaste, baking soda, bleach, or mouthwash to clean your retainer.
- Do not wear your retainer during contact sports — wear an athletic mouth guard instead. This includes during activities such as swimming.
- Bring your retainer with you to follow-up appointments with our orthodontist.
Make An Appointment
To set up an appointment with our orthodontist and learn more about retainers, please contact our team today!