Retainers in St. Charles, IL

Congratulations on getting your braces off and finishing your orthodontic treatment! Now, you will receive retainers to maintain your teeth’s new position and prevent them from shifting. This is called the retention phase of treatment.

Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers being worn properly. We will work with you to create the right retention plan for you — so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far and wear your retainers! After your braces come off, it’s your responsibility to wear your retainers as instructed to keep your teeth straight and maintain a beautiful smile for a lifetime.

What Is a Retainer and Why Is It Necessary After Braces?

A retainer is a device made specifically for keeping your teeth in their corrected position after your braces have been removed or your aligner treatment ends. Retainers are custom-made for each patient, fitting perfectly to your teeth and bite.

Retainers are a necessary part of orthodontic treatment. Braces bring your teeth to their new, correct positions; however, by the time braces are removed, the teeth haven’t fully settled into that new position. Retainers are used to help your teeth, gums, and muscles get used to the correct alignment. Retainers are an important part in the success of treatment!

The longer you wear your retainers, the stronger your teeth will get and the more normal the new alignment will feel. That’s why it’s so important to wear your retainers as instructed. Without proper use, your teeth might shift back to their original positioning and retreatment may be required.

Types of Retainers Available At Prose Orthodontics

There are two types of retainers: permanent and removable.

At Prose Orthodontics, we offer both permanent and removable (Essix) retainers for our patients.

There are different types of removable retainers; Prose Orthodontics offers Essix retainers to our patients. Essix retainers are made of a clear, plastic-like material with no wires or metal parts, and they fit over your teeth like a glove.

Essix retainers help prevent your teeth from moving and protect your enamel from being worn down from minor grinding. If you chose clear aligners for your braces treatment, you’re already very familiar with removable retainers as they’re very similar in nature.

Permanent retainers, also referred to as fixed or lingual retainers, remain in your mouth much like braces do. They are bonded to the back of your teeth and cannot be removed without an orthodontist.

Sometimes, permanent retainers are used in combination with removable retainers; permanent retainers are used on the bottom teeth and removable retainers are used on the top teeth.

Because permanent retainers are bonded to your teeth, eating and brushing your teeth requires a little extra care, much like they did when you had braces. Sometimes, permanent retainers are bonded for life with necessary maintenance, depending on your orthodontic issues.

The Importance of Retainer Care

Because retainers are in contact with your teeth so often, it’s vital to clean them as often and as thoroughly as you would the rest of your mouth, including teeth and gums. Removable and permanent retainers require slightly different cleaning methods.

Neglecting to clean your retainers properly can result in bacteria and plaque buildup, damage to the retainer, and an improper fit to your teeth, which can cause your teeth to shift into an incorrect position.

Your orthodontist will guide you on the best ways to clean your retainers, guided by the instructions below.

How to Clean and Care for Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are fixed to the back of your teeth. In order to properly clean them, we recommend flossing regularly with the help of a floss threader. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, non-whitening toothpaste to gently brush around the retainer wire at all angles to ensure you reach every part of the retainer and your teeth.

If at any point your permanent retainer loosens, comes off, breaks, or bends, call our front desk immediately to have it fixed or rebonded. If the retainer does come off, be sure to save the wire and bring it to the office with you.

How to Clean and Care for Removable Retainers

When you take out your Essix retainer to brush your teeth, first rinse the retainer with lukewarm water. Never rinse your retainer with hot water, as this can warp the plastic and cause it to lose its shape. When cleaning your retainer, use plain hand soap, an alcohol-free mouthwash, or a non-whitening toothpaste to kill germs without damaging the retainer itself.

Gently brush and clean your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse your retainer, shake it out, and place it back on your teeth or place it in your retainer case, depending on your instructions from the orthodontist. Then, brush and floss your teeth thoroughly to remove all food particles and buildup.

If your retainers get scratched, warped, or otherwise damaged, call our front desk to schedule an appointment and get a replacement. Similarly, if you notice any change in the position of your teeth or notice significant soreness that doesn’t fade after the first few weeks of wear, come in to see us and we’ll diagnose the issue.

Keep Your Teeth Straight With Retainers from Prose Orthodontics!

The retention phase of orthodontic treatment is vital for maintaining your beautiful new smile for life. The orthodontic staff at Prose Orthodontics have over 30 years of experience treating patients and providing forever smiles. Taking care of your teeth and retainers is worth the investment!

If you’re looking to enter the retention phase of treatment and get your permanent or removable retainers with us, schedule your consultation below.

You can also call or text us at (630) 584-6555 for more information and answers to any questions you may have.

keep your teeth straight with retainers

Retainers FAQs

Retainers should be worn every night as you sleep. How long you need to wear retainers after active treatment depends on the plan created between you and your orthodontist.

There are two main types of retainers: permanent (or fixed) and removable. Permanent retainers are often affixed to the back of your teeth with a bonding agent and made of a metal wire. At Prose Orthodontics, we offer Essix removable retainers, which are made of a clear, plastic-like material.

Retainers are custom-made for your specific teeth and alignment, made from 3D imaging. If at any point your retainer doesn’t fit properly or feels off, please call our office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible to investigate and fix the issue. This will help you avoid any issues or impact on your teeth.

When you aren’t wearing your retainers, clean them thoroughly and gently before placing them in your retainer case provided by the orthodontist. Always keep your retainers and case away from hot temperatures to prevent any damage or warping. Keep them in a safe place away from pets who might chew on them, and keep your retainers in a place you won’t misplace or lose them!

If you experience teeth grinding, your orthodontist may recommend using a nightguard in addition to your retainers in order to prevent any damage or wear to your retainers.

Without correct use, retainers can’t do their job properly. Retainers are purpose-built to keep your teeth in their new positioning. If you don’t wear them enough or wear them correctly, you risk your teeth moving back to their pre-treatment position.

This depends on how well you clean and care for your retainers, any dental treatments you receive after your retainers are made (like crowns, extractions, etc.). The better you take care of them, the longer they will last!