Phone_icon(320) 762-2101 ALEXANDRIA
(218) 631-4529 WADENA
Map_IconAlexandria Office
510 22nd Ave E
Suite 401
Alexandria, MN 56308

Map_IconWadena Office
124 SW Colfax
Wadena, MN 56482

Retainers and Retention

Retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment. After your treatment is complete, you will enter into the retention phase of your treatment. Because it takes time for your teeth to become stable after treatment, they must be held in place for a period of time. Retainers are used after treatment to help maintain that great result you have achieved until surrounding bone, muscles, and gums adjust to the new position of your teeth. Teeth also experience age related changes which the retainers help guard against.

Types of Retainers

Retainers come in two forms, removable retainers and fixed retainers. Retainers are custom made for each patient using an impression of the newly straightened teeth.

The two types of removable retainers used at Central Lakes Orthodontics are the traditional Hawley retainer consisting of a wire that encases the upper anterior teeth and an acrylic portion that closely fits the roof of the mouth. A second type of removable retainer is a Vacuform retainer which is a thin, clear plastic that encases the teeth. Typically a Hawley retainer is used for the upper teeth immediately after treatment. Removable retainers are to be removed during eating, brushing, and sports. We strongly advise that removable retainers be worn during normal daily activity and sleep unless directed otherwise for the first year after treatment is complete. After one year we will decrease the amount of time the retainer is worn. Removable retainers can be removed to brush and floss but they are easy to lose and you have to remember to wear them!!
Hawley Retainer

Vacuform Retainer

Fixed retainers consist of thin flexible wires that are bonded to the inside of the teeth to stabilize them during retention.  Fixed retainers are usually used to retain the lower teeth but can be used on the upper teeth in special circumstances. Fixed retainers are great because you don’t have to remember to wear them and they can’t be lost but extra care must be used to avoid breakage. They also require special flossing and cleaning technique to maintain the health of the surrounding gum tissue.
Fixed Retainer

Keep Your Smile for a Lifetime

As we age, our teeth move due to muscle forces and natural forces from the teeth themselves.   We strongly encourage that retainers be used as long as possible - even after you have left our practice so that these forces can be neutralized and your hard earned smile looks beautiful and healthy for a lifetime!