You can text or call our office at 510-570-6244

Orthodontic Retainers



After undergoing your orthodontic treatment with your Concord braces provider at Lee Orthodontics, you become the proud new owner of a straight, healthy, more confident smile. However, just because you’ve had your braces removed or you’ve finished another form of treatment like Invisalign, doesn’t mean the work is completely finished. In order to preserve your beautiful new smile, it’s necessary to move on to the final phase of the orthodontic treatment process — retention.



Maintaining the results you achieved during orthodontic treatment is dependent on your participation in the retention phase through the use of a retainer, as prescribed by your Concord orthodontist. Dr. Lee will create retainers that are customized to fit your unique smile, and will provide you with personalized instructions for how to wear them.

To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.

So follow through with the hard work you’ve put in thus far by wearing your retainers as advised by your Concord orthodontist. You will have three kinds of retainers to choose from:



The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. It is removable and made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth, so it fits snugly and comfortably against the roof of your mouth while the wire and acrylic framing your teeth keep them in perfect position.



The Essix retainer is a clear, removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. This may be given to you by your Invisalign Concord provider. Some benefits of the Essix retainer include:

  • No Metal Wires
  • Virtually Invisible, Aesthetic
  • Easy to wear



Fixed retainers, or bonded lingual retainers, are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canine teeth. This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting, as the retainers are permanently attached. Just like with removable retainers, it is important to keep fixed retainers clean. Therefore, when brushing, your Concord braces provider at Lee Orthodontics recommends carefully cleaning the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire. If your retainer breaks at any time during the retention phase, please do not adjust it yourself. Call our Concord office immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.



  • Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
  • Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
  • A fixed retainer is great if you don't want to keep track of it, or if you don't want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
  • Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.



  • Wear your retainer at all times, until the orthodontist instruct otherwise.
  • Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.
  • Clean the retainer 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.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Through orthodontic treatment, you and your Concord braces provider work hard to get you a beautiful, straight smile. Safeguard that hard work and preserve your new smile by wearing your retainers (as prescribed by your Concord orthodontist) once you get your braces off. It is the best way to ensure your healthy, beautiful new smile lasts a lifetime.

Even after braces, you will still need apoinments. You will have fewer office visits but checking your retainer is still very important. Always remember to bring your retainer to every appointment. If you lose or break a retainer, please call us immediately. The teeth will move if the retainers are not worn as instructed.

For questions regarding retention, braces, Invisalign, or any other aspect of orthodontic treatment, contact us at Lee Orthodontics today — proudly serving East Bay area, includingConcord, Pleasant Hill, Bay Point, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Lafayette, Alamo, Benicia, Orinda, Danville, San Ramon, Hercules, Berkeley, and Oakland with a variety of smile needs. We look forward to seeing you in one of our offices soon!




Conditions & Services


Two-Phase Treatment

Learn More →


Learn More →

Surgical Orthodontics

Learn More →