Teeth are in constant motion throughout our lives. After your braces are removed or your clear aligner treatment is concluded, your teeth may return to their initial positions. Wearing a retainer helps ensure your teeth remain in their corrected positions.

A retainer is a custom-made appliance designed to keep your teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. At McKelvain Orthodontics, our orthodontist in Arlington and NRH, TX, will prescribe a retainer after your braces or clear aligner treatment is complete, and you will need to wear it regularly to keep your teeth from shifting back into their original positions.

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Types of Retainers

Fixed Retainers

A fixed retainer is a wire bonded to the back of your teeth. It’s usually made from stainless steel but can also be made from plastic. The wire is fixed in place using a special adhesive. Once it’s attached, it can only be removed by the doctor. This type of retainer is usually recommended for patients with more severe misalignment issues. 

Hawley Retainers

A Hawley retainer is made from a combination of acrylic and metal. This retainer has a wire that goes across the front of the teeth and an acrylic piece that sits against the roof of your mouth. The acrylic portion can be made in various colors, so you can choose one that matches your natural teeth. 

Essix Retainers

An Essix retainer is made from clear plastic. It is molded to fit your teeth perfectly. Unlike a fixed retainer, you can remove this type of retainer to eat, drink, brush, and floss. 

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The Benefits of Retainers

Stability and Long-Term Results

One of the primary benefits of retainers in Arlington and NRH, TX, is their ability to maintain the alignment of your teeth. After the braces or aligners have shifted your teeth into their desired positions, retainers help to prevent them from reverting to their former misaligned state. This ensures that your orthodontic investment is protected, and you can enjoy the long-term results of your treatment. 

Preventing Relapse

Orthodontic relapse, or the tendency of teeth to shift back to their original positions, is common. Retainers work by holding your teeth in place and preventing them from moving. By wearing your retainer as instructed by our orthodontist, you can minimize the risk of relapse, saving you from additional orthodontic treatment. 

Maintaining Self-Confidence

A straight and well-aligned smile can boost your self-esteem and confidence. Wearing a retainer ensures that you continue enjoying the confidence of a beautiful smile. Knowing that your investment in orthodontic treatment is being preserved can also be reassuring and empowering. 

Retainers are a critical tool used in orthodontics, helping to keep your smile aligned and beautiful for years. To learn more about retainers, visit McKelvain Orthodontics at 6505 Precinct Line Rd., NRH, TX 76182, or call (817) 427-0599. You can also visit our Arlington office at 4224 Little Rd., Arlington, TX 76016, or call (817) 572-4949.


4224 Little Rd, Arlington, TX 76016, US

Phone: (817) 572-4949


  • MON8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • TUEClosed
  • WED8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • THU - SUNClosed
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6505 Precinct Line Rd., NRH, TX 76182, US

Phone: (817) 427-0599


  • MONClosed
  • TUE8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • WEDClosed
  • THU1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • FRI - SUNClosed
Contact Us