Maintaining your beautiful, straight smile for a lifetime


How do you preserve that fantastic, straight smile – through the retention phase of orthodontics. This is the final stage in your orthodontic treatment and occurs after you get your braces off. A set of retainers will be custom-made to hold your teeth in the proper position. This is an important part of keeping your smile looking great and in alignment, as teeth have the tendency to move after orthodontic treatment. Dr. Almy will discuss how long you should wear your retainers to achieve minimal movement after treatment.


Fredericksburg Orthodontics & Invisalign Center offers several types of retainers, such as:

  • Traditional retainer – traditional retainers are removable and made from a combination of acrylic and metal. The metal portion of wire retainers wraps around the front side of the teeth to hold their position.
  • Clear aligners – these plastic retainers have a smooth and comfortable feeling similar to Invisalign® and hold teeth in their proper position. 
  • Fixed retainer – a fixed retainer is usually bonded to the lingual side (tongue side) of the six front lower teeth. Patients can wear this permanent retainer for many years.

Fredericksburg Orthodontics & Invisalign Center encourages all patients who have completed orthodontic treatment to diligently wear their retainers to maintain a straight and healthy smile. If you are interested in learning more about how braces can improve your smile and your future oral health, schedule your complimentary consultation today at (540)898-7211.

woman smiling while holding a clear plastic essix retainer and a metal hawley retainer



Some points to consider when it comes to retainers include:

  • Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
  • Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
  • Removable retainers need to be cleaned just like your teeth. Cleaning your retainer is an important step in keeping your smile perfect after orthodontic treatment.
  • A fixed retainer is great if you don’t want to keep track of it or if you don’t want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
  • Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.

How Long Do I Wear My Retainers?

After the first 6 weeks of full-time wear, it is recommended to continue nighttime wear pretty much indefinitely. The rule of thumb is to always wear your retainers at least one night per week to make sure they still are fitting. Some retainer wear is required for as long as you want to maintain straight teeth.

Teeth change, just like the rest of your body throughout life, even if you never wore braces. Periodic retainer wear can allow you to avoid those changes.

Helpful Retainer Care Tips

  • Handle your retainers with care.
  • Keep them in your mouth…do not put them in your pocket where they can break.
  • Retainers are easy to lose. If you take your retainers out, always place them in your retainer case for safety and do not wrap them in a napkin, as they can end up in the trash!
  • Keep your retainers away from dogs or cats as they love to chew on them.
  • Avoid storing them near any source of heat, such as in a hot car.

It is important to follow these basic retainer care tips. In case you lose or damage yours, replacement retainers are available.

Ready To Transform Your Smile?

Ready To Transform Your Smile?


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Kind Words

“The staff at Fredericksburg Orthodontics is always prompt, friendly, and professional. There is never any stress for my daughter when she comes in for her appointments. She is also getting a great smile, too!”

-P. Harrell

“It was such a pleasure to have my daughter’s orthodontic needs taken care of in such a warm and professional establishment. We always felt welcomed and our concerns were always addressed in the best possible way. Thanks!”

-L. Lovell

“I have been truly pleased with all orthodontic services provided by Dr. Almy. She has the best staff that is 100% professional. She provides a warm and friendly atmosphere that confirms this is the place to be for your orthodontic needs. I highly recommend her; she is the BEST!”

-K. Bratton


Monday – Thursday | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday | 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.