The Final Step in Your Orthodontic Journey: Retainers

Once you've done the work, let's make sure your smile stays that way.

Types of Retainers: Finding Your Best Fit

Not all retainers are made alike. Here are the main variations:

Clear Retainer

The Clear retainer (Essix retainer) is a clear removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Clear retainers have no metal wires and are virtually invisible. They are very durable, inexpensive, and easy to wear.

A man is smiling with teeth while placing his hands on the back of his neck

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place.

This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position.

The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and/or patterns.

Fixed Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached!

As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.

If your retainer breaks at any time during the retention phase, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.

The Benefits of Retainers

Here are the primary reasons (and benefits) of your retainer.

Caring for Your Retainer

Proper care extends the life of your retainer and protects your smile. Clean your retainer regularly to prevent plaque build-up and odors. Handle it with care to avoid damage, and always store it in its case when not in use. With consistent care, your retainer will remain a comfortable and hygienic part of your dental routine.

Wearing Your Retainer: What to Expect

Initially, you may need to wear your retainer all the time. Over time, your orthodontist may adjust this schedule to nights only. It’s important to follow their instructions closely to maintain the results achieved through your orthodontic treatment.

Life with a Retainer: Tips and Tricks

Adjusting to life with a retainer is straightforward. Speak slowly and practice reading aloud to get used to it faster. If you experience minor discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers can help. Remember, it’s a sign that your retainer is effectively maintaining your teeth’s new positions.


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Heidi R

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Chantel H

‘‘Bourne Orthodontics has the most caring and friendly staff! My daughter was a patient there for over two years, and every visit we felt welcome and everyone really takes time to make sure you have all the info and supplies needed. I highly recommend Bourne Orthodontics!’’

Danielle Lofstedt

‘‘I LOVE Dr. Bourne and all of his staff. My children have been patients there for 10+ years- from headgear, to a spacer to both needing braces. Everyone here is so friendly, and treats each patient with so much kindness. I refer everyone I know to Dr. Bourne for orthodontic needs, I believe they are the best of the best! I can’t give enough praise to their team.’’

Sasha Alexander

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Experience Long-Term Success with Your Retainer