Retainer Phase

Life With Braces


Congratulations! You have a beautiful new smile! Now we have to work together to stabilize the result of treatment. The tongue,
lips and supporting structure must adapt to the new position of your teeth.


Retainers are used during this retention phase to keep the teeth straight and allow time for the soft and hard tissues around the teeth
to adapt. About 90% of your correction can be retained with the long-term use of retainers. Minor changes in alignment of the teeth after treatment are not failure of your orthodontic treatment, but are changes that you can expect as you age.


Wearing your retainers as instructed by Dr. Kuppers is the best way to minimize these changes. Long term retainer wear is always recommended. Remember to “Live Your Life Smiling®”


There are three general types of retainers:


  • Hawley Retainer

    Hawley Retainers are removable retainers that clasp onto the teeth. Hawley retainers consist
    of a hard acrylic that covers the tongue-side of the teeth, combined with a wire in the front
    of the teeth that holds the teeth in place.


  • Essix (Clear) Retainers

    Clear retainers are removable retainers that cover all the teeth with a clear acrylic. It is an excellent
    retainer in holding spaces closed and is a good aesthetic retainer option.


  • Bonded Retainers

    Bonded retainers are customized wires that are secured onto the back side of the front teeth.
    These retainers are excellent for maintaining the position of the incisors at the end of treatment.
    A bonded retainer may be used in conjunction with a removable retainer.


Retainer Care

When using a retainer, it is important to remember to always remove it when eating and return it to your mouth immediately thereafter. Position it manually and never bite it into place.


If you lose or break your retainer, please contact the office immediately at
519 884 2556. Teeth will move if retainers are not worn. To prevent damage, always keep your retainer in a protective case. To avoid losing your retainer, do not wrap it in a napkin.


Clean your retainer daily with a tooth brush and mild soap. Never use toothpaste, as it will dull the finish. To remove build-up, soak the retainer overnight in a mild vinegar solution or Polident retainer cleaner. Never use hot water for cleaning
your retainer; it may distort your retainer.