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Retaining Your Perfect Smile

retainer-your perfect smile Braces and other orthodontic treatment will help give you your best, most beautiful smile – but the “retention” phase of orthodontics is just as important to ensure you can enjoy those great results for life.

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that is used to help hold your teeth in place to prevent shifting, or “relapse,” once orthodontic treatment is finished.

Types of Orthodontic Retainers

Retainers typically come in three main types:

1. Fixed, or permanently attached (bonded) to the back of your teeth using a wire to hold your teeth in place.  Fixed retainers are convenient because they are permanently attached to your teeth, which means you won’t have to worry about forgetting it at home.  Fixed retainers do require a bit of extra effort when brushing and flossing, just as with braces, to get around the wire.

2. A Hawley Retainer consists of a acrylic portion that sits on the roof of your mouth or under your tongue, and a wire that holds your teeth in place. The acrylic portion can be made in a variety of colors.  This retainer is removable, which makes it easy to clean, but also may make it more prone to breakage or loss.  Your orthodontist will provide you with a hard carrying case to keep your Hawley retainer clean and safe when you’re not wearing it.

3. Clear plastic removable retainers look a lot like an Invisalign® aligner, and are made using an impression of your teeth.Clear removable retainers are a great option because they are easy to clean and virtually invisible to others.

Taking Care of Your Retainer

Caring for your retainers is normally quick and easy.  Removable retainers should be brushed with a toothbrush and water or toothpaste, and rinsed then dried.  When not in use, your retainer should be stored in a hard case, and the case should also be kept clean.   Fixed, or bonded retainers should be kept free of food particles and debris, using the same brushing and flossing techniques as if you had braces.   Your doctor will examine your retainers during regular visits, so it’s important to bring them with you during your check-up appointment.  Most retainers will last for years, but they do need to be replaced or rebonded at times.  If you break your retainer, it’s important to contact our office to have the retainer repaired or replaced as soon as possible.  

Your orthodontist will consult with you to determine which type of retainer is best for you.  It’s very important to wear your retainer(s) as instructed by your orthodontist, in order to ensure that all of the hard work you put in during orthodontic treatment will last for the rest of your life.  

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What Patients are Saying About Us

Amazing service provided with highly professional people. All doctors and nurses were very helpful in explaining everything and were very skilled. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Andrzej B.

I have just completed a 16 months orthodontic procedure. Very happy how much of a difference it is! I can smile with confidence! A truly high professional dental and orthodontic services by First Family Dental! Thanks to Dr. Abboud, Dr. Williams and all the staff at First Family Dental and Midwest Orthodontics that showed a genuine patient care…

Sam K.

This has been my go to dentist location since I can remember. I recently took my mom again after her crown fell off and I just can’t rave enough about this location and the dentist that helped us out! If you want the old school family vibe-this is the place to go to. No rip offs if anything they work with you and make you feel comfortable.

Emma M.

My appointment today was outstanding, from being greeted by name by the receptionist upon my arrival, through the cleaning process by Debbie and the dental exam. The equipment is all top shelf and the treatment rooms are very clean and comfortable. I would highly recommend 1st Family Dental in the Burr Ridge Village Center to anyone looking for an exceptional dental experience.

Tony T.

I prepared myself for a life without teeth, and did not think there was anything that could be done to help me. I expected to learn to live out the rest of my years hiding my smile, and living with my digestive problems – until I found 1st Family Dental.

Joe French

Joe F.

Before I knew it, the assistant came out to tell me they were done and she did well. I was so relieved and happy. My daughter was happy and calm. I asked her about her visit. She now has no fears, and can’t wait for her next cleaning in 6 months.

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Stef G.

When I got home and looked at my teeth in the mirror, I was astounded with the job that Dr. Akhikar had done. The new filings were much less noticeable than my previous one. I couldn’t have been more satisfied.

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Henry B.

The staff was friendly and one of the assistants even let me hold her hand while the extractions were taking place! The dentist who treated me was very professional and made me feel very comfortable.

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Cynthia E.

This dental office has provided me the best care and treatment out of any dentist I have ever visited… I have made them my primary dentist because it has taken me years to find a dentist I can trust.

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Brittany M.