Dr. Daniel M. Eves, D.M.D, M.S.
Specialists in Orthodontics for Children and Adults

Check out Tollgate Orthodontics on Yelp

500 Toll Gate Road
Warwick, RI 02886

20 Clinton Avenue
Jamestown, RI 02835


Retaining Your Smile

At Tollgate Orthodontics, we are committed to providing high quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages throughout Rhode Island. Dr. Eves and his staff work hard to ensure that each patient receives treatment that is both efficient and effective. We aim to make orthodontic treatment easier by creating a warm and friendly environment for our patients. 

Orthodontic treatment doesn’t end once your braces are off. After your braces are removed we move into the retention stage, which lasts a minimum of 12 months. Usually 2 months are spent wearing your retainer full time, followed by 10 months of wearing your retainer only at night. After the 12 months is over, we still advise wearing your retainer at night indefinitely. You don’t want to risk undoing all your hard work!

Why are retainers so Important?

Braces use gentle pressure to move your teeth into proper alignment. As the braces move teeth, the bone and fibers attached to the teeth change, causing the teeth to loosen. Because your teeth are still loose after braces are removed, a retainer works to hold your teeth in alignment until the bone gradually fills in around them and prevents them from moving.

Bone begins to fill in around the roots of teeth over the course of a few months, helping to solidify a properly aligned position. Retainers hold teeth perfectly straight while the bone fills in. Not wearing your retainer regularly at Dr. Eves’ instructions can cause teeth to move permanently out of alignment.

In addition to not wearing your retainer regularly, there are several other factors that can cause your teeth to relapse to their crooked position, including:

  • A tongue thrust that has not been corrected.
  • Thumb sucking that continues after orthodontic treatment.
  • New crowns or fillings that are placed without checking to see if your retainer still fits properly.

During your orthodontic treatment, we do everything possible to give you lasting results. After treatment, it is your responsibility to wear your retainers as instructed. We can’t wear your retainers for you!
As the years pass, you may notice facial changes. These changes are genetically predetermined and can sometimes affect the stability of your teeth. If you notice any changes, please contact our Warwick, RI orthodontic office. It is easier to make corrections while the changes are still minor, but if you wait longer to call us, adjustments become more difficult.

Retainer Instructions

  • The first two months after braces are removed; removable retainers should be worn 24 hours a day. After two months, retainers can be worn for 12 hours a day, or as instructed.
  • Remove your retainers when eating; always place them in their case. Most appliances are typically lost in restaurants or school lunch rooms.
  • To remove plaque and eliminate odor, clean your retainers thoroughly once a day using a toothbrush. Soak them in a cup of water containing Efferdent or Polident. Use warm water.
  • When you are not wearing your retainers, always place them in their case. Pets love to chew on retainers.
  • When you first begin wearing retainers, you may have difficulty speaking. Practice speaking, reading and singing out loud. This will help you get used to the retainer faster.
  • Treat your retainers with care. If you lose or break them, contact us immediately. Please bring your broken retainer with you when you come to the office. Also, avoid flipping your retainer with your tongue. This weakens the wire.
  • Always remove your retainers by pulling on the loops.
  • Bring your retainers to each appointment.
  • Replacing retainers is expensive. Treat them with care and they will last for years.
  • Do not place retainers in hot water, on hot car dashboards, in pockets, on the washing machine or in napkins.

Types of Retainers

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer that can be used to keep teeth in place or move them slightly. It can be used for the upper and lower teeth, and has two basic parts:

  • Wires – The wires wrap around the outer surface of the teeth. The design of the wire varies depending on the patient
  • Acrylic – The plastic portion that covers the roof of the mouth and or the inside surface on the lower teeth. The acrylic can be personalized with a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Invisible Retainers

are worn when no additional movement is necessary. These retainers are lightweight, a bit flexible, comfortable and virtually invisible.

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are thin wires that are bonded to the backs of teeth, in the same way that braces are applied to the front of teeth. After your permanent retainer is placed, you won’t need to worry about it again and you’ll never suffer from the problem of forgetting to put your retainer in! Permanent retainers provide better long-term results for straightening teeth because as our teeth begin to naturally shift with age, the retainer helps keep them in proper alignment.

Contact Our Jamestown or Warwick, RI Orthodontic Office

If you have any questions about your retainer or any of our other treatment options, please don’t hesitate to contact our Jamestown or Warwick, RI orthodontic office. Our friendly staff is happy to answer your questions or help you schedule and appointment with Dr. Eves. We look forward to hearing from you!