When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. In most cases a removable retainer is used for the upper teeth, and a bonded lingual retainer for the lower teeth. During the first month, full-time wear is required for the removable retainer. After one month, Dr. Clotworthy will most likely tell you that you may begin wearing your removable retainer only at night. This may continue for a long time depending on treatment complexity and growth and development. Your final orthodontic result depends on your cooperation with retainers, so follow through with the hard work you've put in so far. Remember, a beautiful smile is a lifetime commitment.

If you lose or break your retainers, please contact us as soon as possible. We will need to make new retainers so your teeth will not begin to shift. When you call, we will schedule an appointment to take new impressions for you new retainers. We provide this service at our usual fee.

The retainers we offer include:


The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Essix retainers have no wires. They are very comfortable to wear. Essix retainers can also be used for minor tooth adjustments and whitening.


The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in position.

Bonded Lingual Retainer

Bonded lingual retainers are attached directly to the inside surface of your lower front teeth. Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful not to break it from biting into something that is very hard. If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Please contact our office as soon as possible so it can be repaired. This will prevent any tooth shifting. When brushing, be sure to brush the retainer and tooth surfaces, and floss under the wire between your teeth.