Congratulations, you’ve made it through your orthodontic treatment and now you have a new, healthy beautiful smile to take care of! When your braces come off it’s time to begin the retention phase of your treatment. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Your orthodontist we will work with you to determine the best retainer choice for you. At Dr. JAW Orthodontists, we offer these different retainer options.

Removable Retainers

A Hawley retainer consists of wires and clasps embedded in a relatively thick plastic body that covers over the roof of the your mouth or lies along the tongue side of your lower teeth. The clasps grasp selected teeth so the retainer is anchored securely. The retaining “bow” wire arches across the front side of the your teeth and holds and maintains their alignment. Best part of Hawley retainers? You can custom design your own retainers! Kids absolutely love this option. Our patients can add glitter, colors, stickers and even glow in the dark to each retainer!

hawley retainer

Clear Retainers

These retainers are clear plastic vacuum-formed appliances that are made by taking a cast of your teeth.They are made of a safe, soft, clear plastic called Essix A+. Because your retainer is less than 1mm thick, it is very comfortable to wear and very discreet. Though they are slightly less noticeable, they don’t have the life span of Hawley retainers.

clear retainer

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are an ideal way to maintain your treatment result.Fixed retainers are made from high quality orthodontic grade twistflex stainless steel, which is bonded to the back of the teeth.They cannot be seen, require minimal looking after and provided they are kept clean, you can maintain them indefinitely.


Grind Guard

A grind guard is similar to a clear retainer but is made with a thicker more durable acrylic material. A grind guard will protect the teeth in a patient with a moderate to severe grinding habit.

Tips for caring for your retainer:

  • Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs 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.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.