Removable Retainers

When the day comes to remove your braces, we know you will love your new smile. In all the excitement, it can be easy to forget that you need to help your teeth adjust to their new positions. 

At Risinger Orthodontics, we recommend wearing a retainer regularly to maintain the beautiful results of your orthodontic treatment. 

Schedule an in-office consultation with the caring experts at Risinger Orthodontics to learn more about retainers and their care.

What to Expect with Removable Retainers

Like braces, retainers require proper cleaning and care. Check out these guidelines for taking care of your retainers and preserving your newly aligned smile.

Wearing Your Retainer

Getting used to your new retainers should only take a short time. Initially, we recommend wearing the retainers all day (except while eating or participating in intense sports or activities). After a few weeks, you’ll only need to wear your retainers while you sleep to keep your teeth from drifting into their old positions.

You may find it harder to speak while wearing retainers, but don’t worry; your mouth will quickly adjust to the new materials in your mouth.

Cleaning Your Retainer

Keeping your retainer clean ensures a healthier smile. Follow these steps for proper retainer hygiene: 

  • Brush your retainer with warm water and orthodontist-approved soaps: Talk to the clinicians at Risinger Orthodontics about which soaps and solutions appropriately clean retainers. Typically, hand soaps and lukewarm water suit retainers best. Toothpaste with harsh chemicals and overly-hot water may mis-shape or damage retainers. Use a gentle toothbrush to keep retainers from developing scratches.
  • Soak your retainers in a retainer solution: This step keeps them from harboring harmful bacteria that could spread to your teeth and gums. 
  • Keep your teeth clean while wearing your retainers: Remove your retainer while brushing your teeth to ensure your entire mouth gets clean.

Storing Your Retainer

When you receive your retainers, you will also receive a case for their safe storage. Keeping your removable retainer in its case prevents loss and damage.

Follow these few steps to uphold the shape of your retainer and avoid losing it: 

  • Keep your retainer out of reach of animals or young children. 
  • Keep your retainer out of the sun and away from extreme heat — heat can melt the retainer and cause it to change shape.
  • Do not place your retainer in a napkin while eating. Many retainers get accidentally thrown away or lost when placed in a napkin.

Retainers safeguard the hard work your braces put into aligning your smile. Replacing your retainer can be costly and timely, so do your best to store them safely.

Types of Removable Retainers

After taking digital molds of your new smile, you and the experts at Risinger Orthodontics will decide which type of retainer suits your smile best: Hawley retainers or clear plastic retainers. 

Hawley retainers use metal wires to hold your teeth in their new positions. In contrast, clear plastic retainers resemble clear aligners, using a durable, nearly invisible material to keep your teeth in place. 

Hawley Retainers

The most classic retainer design, Hawley or wire retainers, offer support to your tooth structures using a metal wire and acrylic material (molded to fit the roof of your mouth) to keep your teeth fixed in their new, proper places. 

Our patients love that Hawley retainers:

Some of the drawbacks of wearing Hawley’s include: 

Clear Plastic Retainers

Clear plastic retainers elevate your retainer experience because they resemble clear aligners. Brands like Essix retainer and Vivera® retainer are some of the most trustworthy names in the industry. 

Our patients love how plastic retainers hold their teeth in place without diminishing the power of their smiles. 

Some of the advantages of wearing a clear plastic retainer include: 

Some of the disadvantages of clear retainers include:

Pros & Cons of Removable Retainers

Some of our patients prefer permanent retainers rather than removable retainers. Our list of pros and cons may help you decide which option will work for your needs and lifestyle goals.


Patients who choose removable retainers enjoy:


Removable retainers only come with a few cons: 

Learn More About Removable Retainers From Our Experts

Deciding which type of retainer fits your new smile and lifestyle might seem overwhelming. Luckily, our experts at Risinger Orthodontics aid patients daily in making the best decision possible for their smile.

We want to help you transform your smile and lifestyle through exceptional orthodontic care. Schedule your in-office appointment today with the most loved orthodontists in Central Connecticut.