Here at Hull & Coleman Orthodontics, located in Wesley Chapel and the Arboretum area of Charlotte, North Carolina, we are always excited for our patients who have finished their treatment and are finally having their braces removed. It's always an exciting and very happy day for everyone in the office. Now on to the retention or retainer phase!

Once your braces are off, retainers should be worn regularly in order to keep your teeth in their new positions. Your teeth will always try to return to their original positioning, so it is very important that you wear your retainers according to our doctors' recommendations. In order to maintain your new perfect smile and the new alignment of your teeth, we use fixed retainers, clear retainers and Hawley retainers. Discuss with our office which is the best retainer for you!

Fixed Retainers


Bonded retainers, or fixed lingual retainers, are placed directly to the inside surface of your upper and lower front six teeth. This is an ideal way to prevent your teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause teeth to shift quickly. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean behind all of your lower teeth as well as the wire.

Invisible Retainers


Our invisible retainers are transparent removable retainers that fit over the entire arch of teeth. Clear retainers cover the teeth entirely, and do not use any metal. Designed with a cosmetic appeal in mind, these retainers are lightweight, a bit flexible, very comfortable and virtually invisible.

Hawley Retainers


The most common type of retainer, the Hawley retainer is a removable retainer made of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. Hawley retainers are designed to maintain the width of the upper arch and are specially made from impressions of the teeth, providing a snug and comfortable fit in the roof of your mouth. The advantage of using this type of retainer is that it can be adjusted to help finish your orthodontic treatment plan and will help with moving your teeth as we see fit. The acrylic part can also be personalized with color.

The retention phase of your treatment will begin when we remove your braces. Normally, we recommend wearing retainers full-time for about 6 months after the braces are removed, then wearing them every night while sleeping for at least another 18-24 months. After that, retainers should be worn while sleeping 3-4 nights each week indefinitely to maintain your orthodontic result. You're able to remove your retainers before practicing your normal oral hygiene routine of brushing your teeth. While you're brushing, you can also brush and clean the retainers before placing them back in your mouth. Remember, your final orthodontic smile results depend on your continual wear of the retainers, so make sure to follow through with this hard work and keep that smile beautiful!

While helping patients in Charlotte, Weddington, Matthews and Monroe in the surrounding communities, Dr. James Hull, Dr. Tuner Hull and Dr. Grant Coleman and their staff offer high quality, affordable orthodontic care for the whole family.