Since the tissues and the teeth have not completely adjusted to the new and correct positions, it will be necessary to wear upper and lower retainers for life. The average retention period is 24-48 months, night retention is necessary to keep the teeth in an ideal position.

Your total fee included one set of retainers and their adjustment over a two-year period. If it is necessary to continue retention beyond that point, appointments will be charged on an individual office call basis. In addition, a charge will be made for each retainer that needs to be replaced. Both retainers are removable and should be worn at least 10 hours each night for the first two years. The retainers can only be lost or broken outside the mouth, so please be sure they are handled carefully.

Now that the braces have been removed, a complete dental examination by your dentist is recommended. Because the bands are somewhat of an irritant to the gum tissue, the patient is advised to brush the gums and teeth vigorously to restore the gums to a healthy condition. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Impacted or improperly aligned wisdom teeth are thought to cause shifting of the teeth. We will address their status during your retention conference. If you have any questions, please let us know. Keep those retainers fitting…NEVER THROW THEM AWAY!


Harrington Orthodontics Rules For Retainers

Click here for our 10 rules to follow with your retainer.

Fixed Retainers

Can be used on both the upper and on the lower.  This retainer is used to assure no tooth movement occurs if stability is a major concern. The fixed retainer is most commonly used if the patient began treatment with a lot of anterior space or crowding. There would be a good chance that the teeth could have the tendency to crowd again or space may develop during the day without having a fixed retainer. We will always give patients an invisible to wear over the fixed. This retainer is not meant to be “forever”. There is always a chance it can break, especially if the patient isn’t careful with the foods they are eating. If a permanent retainer becomes loose, we will need to see the patient to re-cement it, add adhesive or remove completely.

Hawley Retainers

These retainers are used like any other, to keep the teeth in place.  We use these retainers mostly to allow teeth to continue to settle into place.  If you look at the design of the retainer they hold the teeth from the front and the back and they allow the teeth to move up and down.  When there is a desire for this type of movement to happen we will often use this type of retainer. If the Hawley doesn’t fit, the clasp is broken, the dog ate it or it was lost, we need to schedule an appointment to adjust it or take an impression for a new one. For more information, click here for our PDF download on Hawley Retainers.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us to set an appointment.

South Bend: 574-233-7444

St Joseph: 269-428-2828

Get In Touch



3340 E. Douglas Rd.
South Bend, IN 46635


3004 Niles Rd
St. Joseph, MI 49085


Mon: 9am – 6pm
Tues: 8am – 5pm
Wed: 8:am – 5pm
Thurs: 8am – 5pm
Fri: Closed