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Orthodontic Retainers in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland

So you’ve finished your orthodontic treatment and you want to show your new smile off! The end of your orthodontic treatment is very exciting, but it’s important to remember that you still need to wear a retainer after braces.

An orthodontic retainer is designed to keep your new alignment in place, so you can enjoy a healthy smile for life. Learn more about dental retainers from the experts at Imagine Orthodontic Studio. Book a free consultation today!

Why is Wearing a Retainer After Braces Necessary?

the bottom teeth of a dental model with a yellow & blue removable retainer

To maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment, you need to wear a retainer as directed. This keeps the teeth in place while the bone beneath them rebuilds into the correct position. It can take at least four to six months to lock in your new alignment. If you don’t, your teeth will relapse and move out of the desired position.

After the first year of using your retainer around the clock, your orthodontist may recommend that you wear it only at night. Even after the initial retention period, you must wear your retainer daily. Due to a natural process called mesial drift, your teeth naturally want to drift out of position over time. Wearing your retainer as recommended by your orthodontist is the key to keeping your smile radiant!

Types of Retainers

There are removable and permanent retainers, and your orthodontist will recommend which is right for you. Depending on your treatment plan, you may also be given a removable retainer and a permanent retainer.

Close-up of young female having her teeth examined

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers, or fixed retainers, are made of a wire that is permanently bonded behind your teeth. This type of retainer works around the clock to keep your alignment in place. With a little extra cleaning and care, these retainers are a low-effort way to keep your smile in alignment.

A woman smiling with white teeth with a nice metal retainer.

Removable Retainers

Removable orthodontic retainers can be easily taken in and out of the mouth. There are two main types of these retainers. One is the traditional Hawley retainer, which is made of plastic and wire and seamlessly fits onto the top teeth and roof of the mouth. The other is clear retainers, which are clear trays that are fitted to the teeth.

Caring for Your Retainer

Taking care of your retainer is key to keeping your smile results! Whenever you clean your teeth, you should also clean your retainers. Otherwise, food particles can break down against the enamel, increasing your risk of tooth decay.

an orthodontic patient brushing his removable retainer with a toothbrush over the sink

Use a toothbrush you only dedicate for your retainer, and gently brush all surfaces to eliminate debris. Your orthodontist will advise you on what kind of toothpaste or cleaning solution you should use. Don’t use any harsh or abrasive chemicals, and don’t use hot water, as this can warp your retainer.

If you have a permanent retainer, cleaning your teeth is trickier than usual. Make sure that you brush around and between the wires and the bonded areas. When flossing, thread the floss beneath the wire and get in between those teeth!

If you have a removable retainer, it can be easy to lose it if it isn’t in your mouth. You may want to put it on a napkin when eating or drinking, but don’t do it! We often hear from patients who accidentally throw away their retainer. Make it a habit to put your retainer back in its case whenever you aren’t wearing it.

The Cost of Retainers

The cost of your first retainer is included in your upfront treatment cost. However, losing or damaging your retainer could cost you up to $300 out of pocket. If you participate in our Retainer Assurance Program, you won’t have to worry about these costs!

Retainer Assurance Program

We get it – life happens! Retainers get lost, pets use them as chew toys, and sometimes they can get accidentally tossed in the trash. That’s why we offer our Retainer Assurance Program, which gives you unlimited replacement retainers for up to 6 years after you’ve completed treatment!

With our Retainer Assurance Program, you get:

a purple crown on a white background to represent the logo of imagine orthodontic studio

Unlimited retainer replacements for up to 6 years after treatment.

a purple crown on a white background to represent the logo of imagine orthodontic studio

Only pay a small $20 copay to get replacement retainers instead of forking over $300 out of pocket.

a purple crown on a white background to represent the logo of imagine orthodontic studio

Pay in full or in low monthly payments during your treatment.

Wearing your retainer is the #1 way to keep your smile in place after treatment! If you have any questions about orthodontic retainers, our orthodontists are here to answer them. Schedule an appointment today!

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