Retention & post orthodontic care


Our doctors and our dental team at White Orthodontics know just how exciting it is to reach the end of your orthodontic treatment period! Whether you wore traditional metal braces or clear aligners, it’s a wonderful occasion to learn that you no longer have to wear braces on a daily basis. While you may begin to feel overjoyed that your journey toward a brilliant smile is finally complete, there’s still one more critical orthodontic phase left after your braces are removed – the retention phase.

As the main goal of traditional metal braces or clear aligners is to move your teeth into proper alignment, the goal of retention is to make sure that your teeth stay in their newly-obtained positions for years to come. By wearing your retainer on a regular basis – usually, overnight – your jaw will be able to get used to your newly positioned teeth and continuously form around them, keeping them in place day in and day out.

Why is the retention phase important?

Wearing your retainers post-braces will maintain accurate tension on your teeth, making sure they stay in their correct positions. It’s clinically proven that teeth can shift back to their original, crooked positions if you don’t wear a retainer each night following treatment. Conversely, it’s this exact mistake that often leads people to seek out clear aligners in the first place! Most adults who consider clear aligner treatment, such as Invisalign®, Spark, or uLab, do so because they didn’t wear their retainers after first getting traditional metal braces, which caused their teeth to shift drastically.

Once you receive your retainers from White Orthodontics, you must wear them every night for the rest of your life. While this may seem extraordinarily tedious, your post-orthodontic treatment retainers will do more than just keep your teeth straight; they will also help protect your teeth from wear and tear due to issues such as nighttime teeth grinding. If you choose not to participate in the retention phase and a significant shift in your teeth takes place, your retainers will not properly fit and new retainers will need to be made. Drastic shifting might even require replacing your braces to realign your teeth again!

Contact us to obtain & retain your straight smile

Keeping your smile straight after traditional metal braces or clear aligners is simple. If you wear your retainers every night, keep them sparkling clean, and visit your orthodontic professionals at White Orthodontics in Florissant or O’Fallon, MO, on a regular basis, your teeth will remain straight for many years to come!

For any questions or concerns you may have about caring for your smile post-braces, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. Additionally, we encourage all of our new patients to utilize our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you maintain a beautiful smile for the rest of your life!


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Decades ago, orthodontists used to think that once teeth were moved into the “right” positions, they would stay there forever. Research over the past thirty years has shown that this is not true — there is no “right” position that can assure a permanent, unchanging result. The only way to be sure the alignment of your teeth and your bite remains stable after orthodontic treatment is to wear retainers as needed and as directed by your orthodontist or dentist…