Retainer Options

Understanding Retainers: The Key to Maintaining Your Smile

A retainer is a device designed to keep your teeth in their straightened position after orthodontic treatment. Retainers are made from clear plastic, acrylic, or wires that fit snugly over or behind the teeth. Their primary purpose is to minimize the natural tendency of teeth to revert to their original positions over time.

By wearing retainers as prescribed, patients can ensure the longevity of their orthodontic results, keeping their smiles straight and beautiful.

Do I Need a Retainer?

Everyone undergoing orthodontic treatment should utilize a retainer as the final step in their smile journey. You’ve worked hard to achieve that incredible smile, and retainers keep your teeth straight and minimize relapse.

Besides keeping the teeth straight, retainers are crucial for supporting the bone around your teeth as they adapt to their new positions. Our bodies and teeth naturally change over time. By wearing a retainer, you’re proactively minimizing the changes in the correction you’ve achieved.

Proper Care for Your Retainer

Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your retainer remains effective and lasts for years:

1.     Daily Cleaning: Your retainer needs daily attention, like your teeth, because bacteria can grow on a dirty retainer. Gently brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water. Also, consider soaking it at least once a week in a retainer-cleaning solution to prevent build-up. However, avoid using hot water as it can cause damage.

2.     Safe Storage: It’s easy to misplace or damage a retainer. Always put the retainer in its protective case when you’re not wearing it. Safe storage keeps retainers clean and minimizes the risk of breakage or loss. “If it’s not in your face, it should be in your case.”

3.     Avoid using products with alcohol or bleach: These chemicals can damage the retainer and may be harmful when ingested.

4.     Handle with Care: When inserting or removing your retainer, gently use both hands to prevent unnecessary stress or bending.

5.     Regular Check-ups: Over time, retainers can wear out or might not fit as snugly. Consult your orthodontist if you feel your retainer no longer fits as it did at first.

6.     Orthodontist Guidance: Remember that your orthodontist is your best resource. They will provide specific care instructions tailored to your type of retainer. 

Types of Retainers

Hawley retainers, commonly referred to as wire retainers, consist of a combination of acrylic or hard plastic and a metal wire. Designed for comfort, the retainer sits either on the roof of your mouth or under your tongue, with the wire providing support to the teeth. The wire retainer can often be personalized with a variety of colors and designs.

Clear Retainer

Clear retainers are removable plastic trays that sit over your teeth. They can be worn following orthodontic treatment to maintain your results.

Fixed Retainer

A fixed or permanent retainer is a custom-fitted slender wire cemented or bonded to the inner side of either the upper or lower teeth.

Preserve Your Smile’s Perfection

You’ve dedicated time and effort to attain a straight, beautiful smile—don’t let it diminish. Retainers are the key to preserving the flawless alignment you’ve achieved. If you’re uncertain about the right retainer or how to care for it please contact us to ensure the brilliance of your smile lasts a lifetime.

If you have questions about types of retainers or need a replacement retainer, please contact our office at or 310-543-2711.


Read what people are saying about us.

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I took both my children to 5 orthodontist consultations and Dr. Jen was the orthodontist we decided to go with. She is professionally, kind, passionate about helping her patients, knowledgeable on all the latest in the orthodontist world, and overall a wonderful human. When you become a patient with Dr. Jen, everyone in the office knows your name and treats you like you matter. You're not just another number/patient to them. You won't feel like it's a factory office that just does work without even looking at the patients or knowing their name. This is the place to go for honest, passionate, and quality care.

Lisa C.

I contacted Jenuine Smiles Orthodontics as I was looking to replace my old metal & plastic retainer with an Invisalign retainer. Not only was I shocked with how quickly I was able to make an appointment, but I couldn't get over how easy and great the entire process was. I was able have my teeth scanned and picked up my retainer the same day. The entire staff was so friendly from the initial contact all the way to me leaving their office. They ensured they answered all of my questions and address any concerns before I left. I highly recommend Jenuine Smiles for any and all orthodontics needs! If I could give a higher rating I would :)

Robert R.

The recent transition to Dr Jen has been flawless and most welcome! Her impressive depth of knowledge and expertise put my mind at ease. Dr Jen is incredibly kind and friendly creating a warm and comfortable environment. She ensures the kids and I understand her vision for their treatment plan. She has a personalized approach to their care that really meets their needs. The entire office staff is wonderful and dedicated to providing exceptional patient care.

Stacey H.

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