Georgetown Orthodontics

Orthodontists located in Washington, DC

Once you achieve the smile of your dreams after your orthodontic treatment is complete, wearing a retainer can help keep your teeth in proper alignment. Georgetown Orthodontics in Washington, DC, designs different types of retainers based on your needs. Use the online scheduler to book your retainer consultation, or call the office directly.

Retainer Q & A

Why do I need a retainer?

A retainer is a fixed or removable device that helps you maintain your new, perfect smile. After all, you invested months and even years of your time to your orthodontic treatment plan and you don’t want your teeth shifting in the future. Your retainer can be designed to:

  • Allow bones, muscles, and gum tissue to adapt to new teeth placement
  • Close up any gaps or spaces
  • Keep your teeth in place
  • Prevent tongue thrust
  • Minimize clenching

If you have a removable retainer, such as a traditional Hawley retainer or a clear retainer, we let you know how often you should be wearing it. Usually, the doctor recommends wearing your retainer 24/7 for the first few months after braces or Invisalign treatment. Once your teeth have become more stable, you move to nighttime wear only.

Which type of retainer do I need?

Georgetown Orthodontics offers many types of retainers that are customized to your needs. The type of retainer that’s best for you depends on the extent of your orthodontic treatment and whether you’re at risk of teeth shifting after having your braces removed. It takes time for bone and connective tissue to build up to keep your teeth in their new alignment. Some of the most common retainers are described below.

Hawley retainers

Traditional Hawley retainers are made of a rubber or clear plastic material that rests against your gums. They have a wire attached that covers the outside surface of your teeth to hold your teeth in place.

Clear retainers

Clear retainers are a modern alternative to traditional Hawley retainers. They slip snugly over your teeth and are nearly invisible, so you can wear them discreetly throughout the day.

Fixed retainers

Also known as “permanent retainers,” fixed retainers involve attaching a thin wire across the backs of your upper or lower arches (or both). This wire is bonded in place with dental cement.

How often should I wear my retainer?

If you have a removable retainer, such as a traditional Hawley retainer or a clear retainer, the doctor lets you know how often you should be wearing it. Usually, we recommend wearing your retainer for a few hours each day, or all night while you sleep, for at least the first six months after having your braces removed.

Fixed (permanent) retainers are attached to your teeth, therefore maintaining good oral hygiene, especially in the area of the retainer, is extremely important. Because you have so many retainer options available at Georgetown Orthodontics, we let you know which type of retainer is best for you and how long you need to wear it.

Find out which type of retainer is right for you by booking an evaluation at Georgetown Orthodontics today. Schedule your appointment online or over the phone.