Maintain Your Smile with Retainers

Why go through the process of braces or other orthodontic procedures if you don’t have a plan for caring for your teeth afterwards? Not only is that a waste of time, but it is costly to your wallet. Our orthodontists in Snoqualmie and North Bend help patients keep their beautiful smiles after orthodontic treatment by offering teeth retainers and retainer packages. We love serving our current patients - but we are happy to fit you for a retainer even if you didn’t see us for your initial orthodontic care in the past or if it has been years since you last wore your retainer.

What Are Retainers?

Retainers are custom-made for every patient’s unique dental needs after orthodontic treatment. These oral appliances help maintain the new position of your teeth when braces have been removed.

Types of Retainers

Invisible Retainers are made of clear plastic and fit snugly over the teeth. An invisible retainer is usually more discreet than a Hawley retainer, although it may not be as durable.

Hawley Retainers consist of wires and clasps embedded in a plastic body that covers the roof of the mouth (for the upper arch) or lies along the tongue-side of the teeth (for the lower arch). The clasps fit around certain teeth to anchor the retainer in place, while the wire arches across the front of the teeth to maintain their alignment.

Lower Fixed (or Bonded) Retainers, also called permanent retainers, are permanently attached to the backside of the front teeth. They prevent the teeth from shifting out of place and can only be removed by a dental professional.

The Importance of Teeth Retainers

Your teeth have a memory and they will move back to where they were without a retainer. Your retainers are usually ready a day or two after the braces come off, and that is when we want to see you.There are many different types of retainers and our doctor will choose the retainers that are best for you. He will also direct you on how much to wear your retainer. Typically, you will be asked to wear your retainer full time for at least a month and then switch to nighttime wear. Our doctor will see you for periodic retainer checks and coach you on the frequency of retainer wear that is prescribed.

Overbite Example


Underbites occur when your lower front teeth sit in front of your upper arch of teeth. Often, underbites happen when the lower jaw is simply too far forward. An underbite can make it difficult to chew or speak properly, and can cause premature wear to your teeth. In some cases, underbites can be alleviated with Invisalign alone, but more severe cases may require oral surgery before beginning orthodontic treatment.

Next: Crossbite
Underbite Example


In an ideal bite, the upper front teeth sit slightly in front of the lower front teeth. A crossbite is present when some of the upper teeth sit behind the lower teeth. This causes wear and tear, like chips or cracks. The pressure of your bite can lead to gum recession in some cases, resulting in sensitive teeth and even bone loss. Invisalign can fix certain cases of crossbites, so come in for a consultation to find out which orthodontic option is best for you. 

Next: Gapped Teeth
Crossbite example

Gapped Teeth

While common, gaps between your teeth can create significant risks for the health of your smile. Gaps are difficult to clean, making them easy places for food to get stuck in and can harbor bacteria that lead to gum disease. Close those gaps with Invisalign for a seamless, healthy smile.

Next: Open Bite
Gapped Teeth

Open Bite

In an ideal bite, the upper and lower front teeth touch when the mouth is closed. For patients with an open bite, the teeth do not touch. Open bites can make eating and chewing difficult, and can cause problems with speech and premature wear. Invisalign can gradually reposition your open bite until all of your teeth are in alignment.

Next: Crowded Teeth
Open Bite

Crowded Teeth

When your teeth overlap each other due to a lack of room in your mouth, it is called crowding. Crowding can make brushing and flossing difficult, allowing plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria to build up. Over time, this buildup may lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease. Fortunately, Invisalign is able to remedy most cases of crowded teeth.

Next: Overbite
Crowded Teeth Example
Pets may chew on it
Lost or misplaced
Worn out or broken
Accidentally thrown out

Cascadia Smiles Orthodontics would like to help keep you and your child smiling with our retainer package!

Patient Instructions for Orthodontic Retainer Care:

Congratulations on completing your orthodontic treatment!
Your retainer is an essential part of maintaining your beautiful smile. To ensure its effectiveness and longevity, please follow these instructions carefully:

  1. Wearing Schedule:
    - Your orthodontist will provide specific instructions on how often and for how long you should wear your retainer. Follow these guidelines diligently.
    - Initially, you may need to wear your retainer full-time, including during sleep. As your orthodontist advises, you may gradually transition to wearing it only at night.
  2. Handling:
    - Always handle your retainer with clean hands.
    - Avoid bending or twisting the retainer excessively, as this can damage it.
  3. Cleaning:
    - Clean your retainer thoroughly after each use. Use a soft toothbrush and mild soap or non-abrasive toothpaste to brush it gently. Rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water afterward.
    - Do not use hot water, harsh chemicals, or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the retainer.
    - Soak your retainer regularly in a retainer cleaning solution recommended by your orthodontist to help remove bacteria and plaque buildup.
  4. Storage:
    - When not in use, store your retainer in its case to protect it from damage and prevent loss.
    - Keep your retainer away from pets, as they may mistake it for a chew toy.
  5. Avoidance:
    - Do not eat or drink while wearing your retainer, except for plain water.
    - Avoid exposing your retainer to heat or direct sunlight, as this can warp or deform it.
    - Remove your retainer before participating in sports or any activity that may involve impact to the face.
  6. Regular Check-ups:
    - Schedule regular follow-up appointments with your orthodontist to monitor the condition of your retainer and ensure that it continues to fit properly. - If you notice any signs of damage or if your retainer feels loose or uncomfortable, contact your orthodontist promptly for evaluation and adjustment.
  7. Persistence:
    - Wearing your retainer consistently as prescribed by your orthodontist is crucial for maintaining the results of your orthodontic treatment. Be patient and committed to the process.

Remember, proper care and maintenance of your retainer are essential for preserving the results of your orthodontic treatment and keeping your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come. If you have any questions or concerns about caring for your retainer, do not hesitate to contact your orthodontist for guidance.

Plan for Success with an Orthodontic Retainer

Our orthodontist will help you determine whether you need a retainer after your orthodontic treatment. Schedule a consult today or talk to us about retainers at your next appointment.

If your teeth have shifted since your orthodontic treatment, we are also happy to discuss a new treatment plan with braces or Invisalign®.

Join the Cascadia Smiles Orthodontics Family Today!

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