David H. Lee, DDS, MSD
Board-Certified Orthodontists located in Concord, CA
Maintaining straight, even teeth after having your braces removed may require additional treatment with a retainer. At Lee Orthodontics in Concord, California, board-certified orthodontist Dr. David H. Lee offers comprehensive evaluations and orthodontic treatments, including retainers, to enhance your smile and improve your overall oral health. Schedule a consultation online or by phone today to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic correction with a retainer. We are happily accepting new patients in the East Bay area, including Concord, Pleasant Hill, Bay Point, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Lafayette, Alamo, Benicia, Orinda, Danville, San Ramon, Hercules, Berkeley, and Oakland.
Retainers Q & A
What is a retainer?
A retainer is an orthodontic device you wear after getting your braces removed. The retainer helps keep your teeth in position and stabilizes your bite for several years after treatment with braces.
Teeth can continue to move forward or crowd even after years of wearing braces, so a retainer ensures your progress with orthodontic braces isn’t lost after you've completed treatment.
Retainers can be removable or fixed to the backside of your teeth. Dr. Lee designs your retainer to fit your mouth and offers:
- Traditional removable retainers (Hawley retainers)
- Aligner-style retainers (Essix retainers)
- Fixed retainers
What are the benefits of fixed retainers?
Fixed retainers attach to the backside of your teeth, and you wear them at all times following the removal of your braces. This type of retainer is often a good option if you have significant dental work, as they give your teeth more stability as they settle into the correct position.
Dr. Lee glues the retainer wire to the back of your teeth, and you won’t have to worry about removing them for cleaning or to eating. This type of retainer is unnoticeable and easy to maintain.
What are removable retainers?
Dr. Lee offers the Hawley and Essix retainers. Both are removable appliances that you wear daily but remove to eat and brush your teeth.
The Hawley retainer is a plastic shell that fits the roof of your mouth. Attached to the shell is a wire that goes over the front of your teeth. Dr. Lee makes any necessary adjustments to your retainer, so it fits your teeth properly.
The Essix retainer is a clear, molded plastic aligner that slides over your teeth. It offers the advantage of near invisibility, so you can wear the retainer without others noticing it.
How long do I need to wear a retainer?
Dr. Lee determines how long you need to wear your removable retainer each day based on your specific treatment plan. Typically, you may have to wear the retainer all the time for the first six months of treatment. After that, you only need to wear your retainer at night for the next several years.
If you have a fixed retainer, you can expect to wear it for up to five years.
How do I care for a retainer?
If you have a fixed retainer, you care for it with regular brushing, just as you do for your teeth.
For a removable device, you can take the retainer out when you eat and drink, brush your teeth, or if you participate in sports. You need to clean your retainer daily, brushing it gently to remove debris, then rinsing it well with clean water.
When your retainer isn’t in use, you should keep it in a retainer case to prevent loss or damage.
To find out more about the benefits of a retainer, schedule a consultation online or by phone today. We are happily accepting new patients in the East Bay area, including Concord, Pleasant Hill, Bay Point, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Lafayette, Alamo, Benicia, Orinda, Danville, San Ramon, Hercules, Berkeley, and Oakland.