What Are Retainers?
Once you are done with the active phase of your orthodontic treatment, you can proceed to a retainer to help maintain your results. A retainer from our full-service Tupelo, MS dental practice can protect the investment you have made in money and time with orthodontic treatment by keeping your teeth in their new place while your gums and jaw stabilize. To serve the needs of our many patients, Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers several high-quality retainer options, such as removable and fixed retainers. Skilled dentists Dr. Richard Caron or Dr. John Kenney will present all of your options and guide you through the retention phase of orthodontic care. Even if we did not treat you with braces, we can still serve your smile with a customized retainer.
What Types of Retainers Do You Offer?
At Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer our patients three different types of retainers based on each patient's needs: a Hawley, clear, or fixed retainer. The Hawley retainer (the most common kind of retainer) is composed of molded wires, plastic, and clasps and can be taken in and out of the mouth. A transparent retainer, such as a Vivera retainer from Invisalign, is inconspicuously worn the same way as a clear teeth aligner and can be removed from the mouth quite easily. A fixed retainer cannot be removed from the mouth since it is bonded to the back of the teeth in one or both arches.
"Not the biggest fan of going to the dentist, but Tupelo Smiles made me feel so comfortable and welcomed. They are so friendly and do everything they can to make you feel at peace as much as possible. I definitely recommend!"- M.N. / Google / May 20, 2023
"Very friendly staff!! I drive 1 hour & 15 minutes to come here. They are very good and make you feel welcome from the time you walk in. I would highly recommend!! Thanks for always taking great care of me!!!"- W.G. / Google / May 12, 2023
"What a delightful experience during my 1st time at "Tupelo Smiles"!! Everyone I came in contact with were Super Friendly and never had such a thorough exam and procedure!! You've got to check them out!!"- B.G. / Google / May 12, 2023
"My husband and I started coming here several years ago and it has been absolutely amazing from the start. All the staff is so nice and accommodating. I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to the dentist but they definitely make me feel comfortable. We have always been treated with kindness. Amber is an amazing hygienist. Will recommend to anyone!"- P.B. / Facebook / Apr 24, 2023
"Been going here for years. Dr Caron is amazing! Staff is awesome! Recommend 10 out of 10!"- C.B. / Facebook / Mar 29, 2023
Who is a Good Candidate for RetainerS?
A retainer is suggested for all patients as soon as they finish active orthodontic treatment. Although your teeth are in their correct position, a retainer helps to hold them there while the remainder of your mouth and jaw adjusts. A retainer may also be a great option for younger patients who are still waiting for all their permanent teeth to come in and while their jawbone is still growing.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing A Retainer?
While you may be thrilled to be done with active orthodontic treatment like wearing braces or Invisalign, Dr. Caron, Dr. Kenney, and the team at Tupelo Smiles want to ensure you keep your new, aligned smile looking great for years to come. To help maintain your smile after orthodontics, we offer several retainer options at our Tupelo, MS office. Benefits of retainers include:
- Preventing teeth from shifting
- Stabilizing your bite
- Entrenching your results from orthodontic treatment
- Assisting with breathing and speech
- Benefiting oral hygiene
- Specifically designed for your mouth
- Various high-quality retainer types are available
How Does the Retainer Process Work?
When your braces are removed from your teeth, you may start your retainer process. We will take an impression of your mouth and send it off to a dental laboratory. Once your retainer is crafted and arrives in our office, a process that typically takes 1 – 2 weeks, we will schedule an office visit to deliver your appliance. At this appointment, doctors Caron or Kenney will ensure that your retainer is comfortable and will make any necessary adjustments. We will also give you specific instructions on how to use your retainer in addition to how to clean and maintain your post-orthodontic appliance.
What Should I Expect After Retainers Are Fitted?
While the length of time to wear a retainer varies among patients, it is usually recommended to use a retainer until all of the permanent teeth come in (for children) or the jaw has completely stabilized. With good maintenance and routine inspections, your retainer can be kept for many years. As the years progress and normal wear and tear occur, your retainer might need to be repaired or replaced. Meanwhile, you should practice daily cleaning and safely keep your retainer if not in use. In case your retainer is lost or damaged, contact our office for a new retainer as soon as possible so as not to cause any relapse in your orthodontic results.
If my teeth are straight after wearing braces or Invisalign, why do I need to wear a retainer?
After wearing an orthodontic appliance, your teeth may shift back to their previous, unaligned positions. A retainer fitted at Tupelo Smiles helps to keep your teeth in their new positions and prevent them from moving out of alignment.
Can I eat with my retainer in?
No, you should not eat while wearing a retainer. If you eat while it is in your mouth, food particles can get trapped in it, making it difficult to clean and increasing the risk of tooth decay.
Can retainers be uncomfortable to wear?
Retainers installed at our Tupelo, MS office may initially feel uncomfortable or tight, but that feeling usually subsides within a few days. If you continue to experience discomfort, contact our team. Dr. Caron, Dr. Kenney, or an experienced team member may need to adjust the fit of your retainer.
How long will I need to wear a retainer?
Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, your retainer may need to be worn all day for 4 – 6 months. It can be removed to eat, brush, and floss your teeth. Once your orthodontist has given you the green light, you can start wearing your retainer only at night. After about two years, you can transition into wearing your retainer every other night. When you visit our office for your regular dental check-ups, our team will check your retainer to ensure it is functioning properly.
How do I care for my retainer?
Caring for your retainer can be as easy as brushing your teeth. To properly clean your retainer, brush and rinse it with warm water once a day. You can also soak it in mouthwash to help prevent bacteria growth. When you are not wearing your retainer, it should be stored in its case to protect it from damage.
What happens if I lose my retainer?
If you lose your retainer, please call our Tupelo, MS office immediately so we can order a new retainer for you.
Fixed and Removable Retainers
Help keep your teeth in their new place following your orthodontic therapy using a fixed or removable retainer from Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Continuous use of a retainer can prevent relapse of teeth positioning and the need for additional orthodontic treatment later in life. Schedule a consultation with doctors Caron or Kenney at our office in Tupelo, MS to learn more about the advantages of fixed and removable orthodontic retainers.