23 Shackleford Drive Ste A Little Rock, AR 72211

Retainers in Little Rock, AR

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When your braces are removed, it is necessary to wear a retainer to achieve your final orthodontic result. Retainers help hold your teeth in place while your jawbone stabilizes and can protect the investment you have made in your smile. Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock is proud to offer several types of retainers to meet the varying needs of Central Arkansas patients. Both children and adult patients should wear a retainer following the active phase of their orthodontic treatment plan. Dr. Michael Ashcraft creates retainers that are fixed or removed and can review your options to select the model best suited for your needs and lifestyle. Schedule a consultation at our Little Rock, AR orthodontic practice today to learn more about wearing retainers following active orthodontic treatment. 

Types of Retainers

Retainers maintain the positioning of your teeth during the retention phase of orthodontic care. We offer three types of retainers, which are chosen depending upon each patient's unique treatment needs, goals, and preferences. Dr. Ashcraft will explain the differences between each type and help you select your ideal retainer.

• Hawley Retainer: As the most widely used model, the Hawley retainer can be put in and taken out of the mouth freely and is made of smooth wire, clasps, and plastic materials.

• Clear Retainer: Similar in appearance and feel to clear aligners, a clear retainer is practically invisible and is easily removed from the mouth.

• Fixed Retainer: A fixed retainer cannot be removed and is cemented in place behind the front teeth. It may attach to each tooth individually or to teeth on either side of the arch.

Best Candidates

Dr. Ashcraft recommends that all patients wear a retainer once their braces are removed. You will spend both time and money on straightening your smile, and a retainer can help maintain your results until your jaw is able to support the positioning of your teeth on its own. A retainer may be especially beneficial for younger patients who are in mixed dentition (permanent and baby teeth present) and during the developmental stages of the jaw.

What to Expect

The retention phase of your orthodontic treatment plan will begin as soon as your braces are removed. Our team will take impressions and create models of your upper and lower teeth and send these models to our partner orthodontic lab. When your retainer has been fabricated and sent back to our office (generally around 1 – 2 weeks), we will have you return for a visit. Dr. Ashcraft will make certain that your retainer fits comfortably and provide specific instructions on when to wear it and how to keep it clean.


Your retainer should be worn as recommended by Dr. Ashcraft to keep your teeth in their proper place. The length of time patients need to wear a retainer varies upon factors, like age, jaw development, the reason for orthodontic care, and other concerns. Patients who receive braces in childhood often have to wear a retainer until their jaw development is complete (usually between the ages of 20 – 25). When maintained and cared for as recommended, your retainer can serve your needs for many years. Retainers may become loose over time, but Dr. Ashcraft will adjust your appliance as needed to maintain its fit. Normal wear and tear may lead to the need for your retainer to be repaired or replaced in the future. In the event that your retainer is lost, contact our office as soon as possible to minimize the chance of relapse in tooth positioning.

Insurance Coverage

Retainers may be included in your overall orthodontic treatment plan and therefore, may be covered by dental insurance. Our administrative team at Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock will get in touch with your insurance provider and determine if there will be any out-of-pocket expenses. Our practice is proud to offer flexible in-house and third-party financing solutions to help your treatment fit easily within your budget. We also accept several convenient payment options and work with most major dental insurance plans.

Fixed and Removable Retainers

Enjoy lasting results for your smile following orthodontic care with a fixed or removable retainer from Dr. Ashcraft in Little Rock, AR. Wearing a retainer once your braces come off can help prevent the need for additional orthodontic treatment in the future and protect your oral health investment. Contact our friendly team at Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock today to learn more about our retainer options.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.