Retainers at West LA Orthodontics

A retainer is a custom-made device you wear in your mouth to keep your teeth in the correct position after orthodontic treatment.

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The Gift of a Beautiful Grin for Good

After you get your dream smile with orthodontic treatment, you want to keep it looking great! That's where retainers come in. Jonathan Shouhed, DDS, is proud to provide high-quality retainers at West LA Orthodontics to keep his patients' smiles beautiful and aligned. You can keep that gorgeous, straight grin for good!

What Is a Retainer?

The purpose of a retainer is to maintain the alignment of your teeth. Dr. J typically prescribes a retainer when you complete an orthodontic treatment like traditional metal braces or clear plastic aligners such as Invisalign® or Smile Rx Custom Aligners with West LA Orthodontics.

A retainer might be worn for a few years or even indefinitely, depending on the particulars of your smile. It's an easy and effective way to maintain your straight smile after orthodontic treatment. There are two types of retainers: fixed and removable.

What Is a Fixed Retainer?

Fixed retainers are thin wires permanently attached along the back of your front teeth. Dr. J makes an impression of your teeth to custom make your retainer so it fits perfectly and remains comfortable.

To keep your teeth clean, use a floss threader when you wear a fixed retainer (just as when you wear braces). Because a fixed retainer holds your teeth in position 24/7, it provides excellent results in maintaining a beautiful smile.

What Is a Removable Retainer?

A removable retainer can be easily taken out of your mouth or popped quickly back in. Dr. J offers two types of removable retainers for his patients:

Hawley Retainer

Hawley retainers are made of thin wire and clasps attached to an acrylic base. A clasp around your back teeth holds the retainer in place and a thin wire runs across your upper or lower teeth to keep them aligned.

Hawley retainers are long-lasting and durable. Sometimes they can be difficult to speak with at first, but your mouth eventually adjusts to them.

Clear Retainer

Clear retainers are made from a smooth plastic that's incredibly comfortable and discreet. Clear retainers are the best choice for aesthetics, but they might stain over time and require more frequent replacement.

Why Do You Need to Wear Retainers?

Retainers keep your new smile in place and ensure your teeth stay aligned after they have been moved by your aligners or braces. After your braces are removed, Dr. J will want you to wear your retainer day and night for three months. Typically they are only removed when drinking (except for water), eating, brushing, and flossing your teeth.

If your teeth aren't showing signs of shifting after three months, you may only need to wear a retainer at night or only for a few hours during the day.

As part of West LA Orthodontics' commitment to high-quality care, Dr. J has created a lifetime retainer program. He has reduced replacement retainer costs by using state-of-the-art orthodontic technology and he passes those savings on to his patients. Dr. J's retainers are custom-made for patients and can prevent an orthodontic relapse.

Make sure you don't let your dream smile slip away after orthodontic treatment! At West La Orthodontics, we know it takes time, effort and commitment to get the happy, healthy smile you have always wanted. Dr. J wants everyone to be proud of their grin, whatever their finances and circumstances. That's why even if you had your orthodontic treatment elsewhere, you can still get your retainer from West LA Orthodontics.

Schedule your retainer consultation today by calling the office or request an appointment below.

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Braces Designed to Make Your Smile Shine

Dr. Jonathan Shouhed has successfully used custom braces in a variety of colors and styles to straighten his patients' smiles. At West LA Orthodontics we believe getting braces should be fun! From misaligned bites to cosmetic issues we have you covered.

Why Would You Need Braces?

At West LA Orthodontics, we understand your smile is an important part of your daily life. That’s why our goal is to bring a happy, healthy smile to the faces of our entire community. We are committed to providing you and your family with gentle, high-quality orthodontic care.

Common Reasons for Braces

  • Crooked or overcrowded teeth

  • Gaps between teeth

  • Overbite, where the upper front teeth come out too far over the lower teeth

  • Underbite, where the front teeth bite down behind the lower teeth

  • Other jaw misalignments that create an uneven bite

What Are the Benefits of Braces?

Wearing braces has a number of health and cosmetic benefits to your teeth, your jaw and your confidence:

Benefits of Braces

  • You will find it easier to clean your teeth

  • You will reduce your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease

  • With straighter teeth you will have a more even bite, reducing the wear and tear on your teeth

  • You will have a better ability to speak properly

  • Prevention of tooth decay and jaw bone deterioration

  • Better digestion

  • You will experience improved confidence and increased self-esteem because you love your smile!

What Are the Different Types of Braces?

Traditional braces are made up of bands, wires, and brackets. The bracket bonds to the front of your tooth, and the wire, known as an archwire, threads through it. To keep the archwire in place, the bands wrap around the brackets. Over time, the archwire exerts pressure on your teeth, gradually moving them into a straighter position.

With braces, you can straighten your teeth and correct a crooked or misaligned bite. We offer a few different types of braces when it comes to choosing braces that are the perfect fit for you:

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Metal Braces

Metal braces have been around for more than 100 years and are the most common type of braces. Braces used to be bulky and noticeable. Luckily, braces aren't what they used to be years ago! With advances in technology and innovation, braces:

  • Are now smaller

  • Move your teeth faster

  • Feel more comfortable

  • Work more effectively

At West LA Orthodontics, we find that braces are most popular as a teeth straightening solution for kids and teens.

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Teeth are as distinctive as fingerprints and your braces should be custom-made just for you. Using revolutionary 3D printing technology, LightForce brackets are made to precisely suit the unique surface of your tooth, unlike conventional brackets that are mass-produced to fit everyone. They are available in all different colors if you wish to express your personality with your braces, or clear if you want your orthodontic treatment to be more discreet. With LightForce you get:

  • Less discomfort

  • More efficient tooth movement

  • Shorter treatment time

  • Fewer office visits

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Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces work like metal and ceramic braces and come in metal or clear ceramic material. These braces also use a wire to move your teeth. With self-ligating braces, the wire doesn't need elastic rubber ties to hold it in place in the same way as metal braces or ceramic braces. Because self-ligating braces are easy to adjust, your appointment duration to get them adjusted can often be shorter. Self-ligating braces are great for:

  • Patients with a greater sensitivity to discomfort

  • Those who can't sit still for very long in the dental chair

  • Children with developmental delays and orthodontic needs

How Long Must You Wear Braces?

Typically, patients wear braces from 12 months to 3 years. However, the average treatment period is around 24 months. Orthodontic treatment time is completely dependent on each individual patient’s unique bite and degree of misalignment.

As your teeth move into place, you will need to have your braces adjusted. Dr. J at West LA Orthodontics usually sees patients every month to carry out this procedure. Braces can straighten your teeth in as quickly as a few months or as slowly as a few years, depending on the position of your teeth and your treatment plan. Dr. J uses LightForce orthodontic technology.

What Is a Good Age to Get Braces?

West LA Orthodontics recommends an orthodontic evaluation for your child at age seven, when they have some permanent teeth but haven’t yet lost all of their baby teeth. When your child is this age, the jaw is still developing, which makes treating complex problems easier. If your child has not had an orthodontic evaluation by age 9 – 14 years old, Dr. J recommends coming in for a consultation as this time of life is still an optimum age to consider getting braces.

In order to achieve harmony between the function, aesthetics and overall health of your child's smile, Dr. J can begin and complete treatment before your child's jaw and facial development is fully complete.

Although childhood is the optimal time to begin orthodontic treatment, braces work incredibly well for patients of any age! Dr. J can see patients aged seven to 70! Today, adult braces are common and Dr. J offers clear ceramic braces or Invisalign® clear aligners if you want a more discreet treatment option.

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Location & Hours

West LA Orthodontics

Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm

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