2333 Knob Creek Rd Suite 10
Johnson City, TN 37604

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Retainers

The retention phase of your orthodontic treatment at our Johnson City office is critical to a successful treatment; in fact, it’s the most important part of maintaining your long term, beautiful results. A retainer serves to solidify all of the hard work you’ve put into your smile throughout your treatment period.

What do retainers do?

Teeth are susceptible to shifting. It’s only natural. As time goes on, teeth shift whether you’ve undergone orthodontic treatment or not.

The purpose of wearing a retainer after braces is (quite literally) to retain your smile for years to come. Retainers hold your smile in place to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their pre-braces or pre-Invisalign® position.

When your braces are removed, or your Invisalign treatment is complete, your teeth, gums and bite position are vulnerable. They no longer have the support of your treatment, so they’re especially susceptible to shifting or relapsing.

Wearing a retainer after braces is critical for holding the teeth in place and encouraging them to set in the desired position. During the retention phase, you’ll wear your retainer for 24 hours, day and night, to support your new smile. After 6 months or so, Dr. Jewett will let you know when you can start wearing your retainer only at night, and you won’t need to wear it during the day anymore!

Once you’ve been cleared to wear your retainer only at night, you’ll wear it every night for a period of time. Then you’ll soon be able to wear it only a few nights a week as your teeth and jaws become more stable.

Types of Retainers
We provide different types of retainers to suit our patients’ orthodontic conditions, needs, and lifestyle preferences. Retainers can be fixed or removable.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed (permanent) retainers are bonded to either the top teeth or bottom teeth, depending on your condition. Permanent retainers include a curved metal wire, custom-designed to fit the unique arch of your teeth. They’re typically cemented to the back of the lower dental arch to keep the bottom teeth from shifting.

For patients who had a gap or space between their front teeth prior to treatment, a small fixed retainer may be cemented behind the top teeth to keep them together and prevent them from reverting to their previous position.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers come in a variety of different styles. These types of retainers can be removed when eating, drinking, and (eventually) removed during the day and placed back in at night.

There are a few different options in removable retainers, including Hawley retainers, Essix retainers, and active clip-on retainers.

Hawley retainers are customized to fit each patient’s smile. These retainers use an acrylic plate that sits behind the front teeth, a metal wire that hugs the front of the teeth and metal wires that fit between the back teeth to anchor the retainer in place. Hawley acrylic retainers come in a variety of different colors and patterns to suit your style! These retainers are durable, but they can be damaged by heat and impact, so it’s important to be gentle with your retainer.

Essix retainers are similar to Invisalign® clear aligners. These retainers use sturdy, transparent plastic made to support the dental arch and hold the smile in place. Essix retainers are also called “overlay retainers”, because they cover both the front and back of the teeth (unlike Hawley retainers).

Many patients choose this type of retainer for its discreet, virtually-invisible appearance. Essix retainers are durable, but they can be easily warped by heat, damaged by impact, and discolored by chemicals and dyes. (Taking care of your retainer, no matter which retainer you choose, is essential for beautiful end results.)

An active clip-on retainer is a bit different from other removable retainers. While the other removable retainers (Essix and Hawley) are considered ‘passive’ retainers, clip-on retainers are ‘active’ retainers. This means they actively shift the teeth while they’re worn, whereas passive retainers serve to hold the teeth in place, not promote further movement.

Active retainers look similar to Hawley retainers, with metal wires and an acrylic plate, but they also use active springs that apply force on the teeth. They facilitate minor tooth movement to treat relapse, including gapped teeth, spaced teeth and crooked teeth, but they can’t replace an Invisalign or braces treatment.

Retainers Cost
Your retainer won’t cost you any additional money, because it’s included in your treatment plan and your affordable payment plan!

The retention phase is part of your orthodontic treatment, after all.

If you lose or break your retainer, there may be a cost to replace it or fix it. As long as you care for your retainer properly, don’t place it in a napkin when you eat (napkin retainers often end up in the trash), and use your retainer carrying case to store your retainer each time you remove it, you shouldn’t have to worry about a replacement fee!

Retainers Cost

Your retainer won’t cost you any additional money, because it’s included in your treatment plan and your affordable payment plan!

The retention phase is part of your orthodontic treatment, after all.

If you lose or break your retainer, there may be a cost to replace it or fix it. As long as you care for your retainer properly, don’t place it in a napkin when you eat (napkin retainers often end up in the trash), and use your retainer carrying case to store your retainer each time you remove it, you shouldn’t have to worry about a replacement fee!

Still have questions about retainers?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Dr. Jewett will explain everything you need to know about the retention phase before your treatment is complete. We never want you to leave our Johnson City office with unanswered questions.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward your new smile, schedule your complimentary consultation with us today!