Retainer Types & Care

Keep Your New Smile Looking Good!

Keep Your New Smile Looking Good!

When we remove your braces, the retention stage of your treatment begins. Orthodontic retainers keep teeth in the correct alignment and position after the braces have been removed.

Retainers are also needed after treatment with Invisalign appliances. Without retainers there is a tendency for the teeth to go back to their earlier crooked positions. Retainers are designed to help ensure that your wonderful smile and all the beautifully aligned teeth stay exactly that way and do not shift or relapse.

Retainers fall into two basic categories, namely Removable retainers (Hawley or Essix retainers) and Fixed retainers.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers are worn for a minimum of 12 hours a day. We will advise you on what your specific recommendation is once your active orthodontic treatment is completed. Remember that the guideline is to wear your retainers every night. Most people are unaware that retainers are worn for as long as possible, or for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight!  If you totally stop wearing your retainer, even after a few years, your teeth may begin to move and shift. This is especially true if you have tongue thrust issues or have had extractions.

Unless you want crooked teeth again, or want to go back into braces, wear your retainer regularly for the rest of your life — at least a couple of nights each week. This ensures that your smile stays beautiful and healthy!

Please remember to store your retainers in the retainer box we provide. If you leave it in a napkin, or outside of the box, it WILL get discarded or damaged.

Hawley Retainer

The Hawley retainer has metal and acrylic and is most often prescribed for the lower teeth. If you have Phase 1 treatment, then you will get a Hawley retainer for your top teeth. The colorful component is not visible to anyone but you, so we encourage you to choose a fun color!

Essix Retainer

The Essix retainer is clear, and is most often prescribed for the upper teeth. It is cared for with cleaning tablets that we provide.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are commonly referred to as bonded retainers or permanent retainers. It is a wire that is bonded behind the lower front teeth. This is one of the best ways to prevent your front teeth from shifting as it is bonded to each tooth.

Please note that fixed retainers require excellent hygiene and care, and only we can determine if you are a good candidate for one.

Patients with fixed lower 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.


9955 Barker Cypress Rd, Suite 225
Cypress, TX 77433
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Mon 8:00am – 5:30pm
Tues 8:00am – 5:30pm
Wed 8:00am – 5:30pm
Thurs 8:00am – 5:30pm
Friday By Appointment only
Closed for Lunch 12:00pm – 1:30pm


Phone: (281) 463-6757
Phone (Text Only) 281-475-2916
Fax: (281) 463-7298