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Removable and Fixed Appliances

Many times, the jaw is not shaped properly to allow the proper alignment of the teeth. In these cases, fixed or removable custom appliances are used to change the shape, size and position of the jaw. By the proper application of orthopedic appliances at an early age, extraction of teeth or surgery can be avoided in many cases.

The removable appliance is carefully designed to move or hold teeth. It is important that it is worn according to instructions and brought to each appointment.


Once the active period of alignment is completed, the braces are removed and retainers are issued. Your orthodontist will recommend which type of retainer best suits you. Retainers are made to hold teeth in their new positions while the gums and bones settle into their new positions. Children and adults, both experience changes to their facial structure throughout their lives. Retainers serve to keep teeth aligned as the facial structure grows and changes. Learn about our Lost Retainer Program, ProjectSMILE.

Living with Appliances or Retainers

It may take time for a patient to get used to an appliance/retainer at first, but within two or three days it should become comfortable and speech (if affected) should return to normal. Patients should avoid flipping or playing with the appliance/retainer with his/her tongue, as this can cause damage to the teeth or breakage of the device. If a sore spot on a patient’s gum tissue appears, call our office  so that we can make the proper adjustments to alleviate any pain.

Care tips for appliances and retainers include:

  • Rinse clear retainers and Invisalign with warm soapy water as soon as it is removed (do not let saliva dry on the retainer/aligner)


  • Avoid accidental discarding of an appliance/retainer by making sure to never wrap it in a paper napkin or tissue


  • When the appliance is not being worn, always store it in the plastic case provided to you by Family Orthodontics. Appliances/retainers can break if placed in pockets and other inappropriate places.


  • Keep appliances/retainers away from pets, as they like to chew on them.


  • Avoid storing appliances/retainers near any source of heat, and never boil your device to sterilize it!