A retainer is an orthodontic device used to help teeth maintain their position following a straightening procedure. There are 3 different types of retainers available to patients: The hawley retainer, clear retainer, and permanent retainer. Hawley and clear retainers are removable while permanent retainers are affixed to teeth and typically assigned to patients with complex cases. To care for a removable retainer, be sure to brush them with lukewarm water and soap after each meal. Note that retainers should be cleaned immediately after removal, as lingering food particles can harden and cause issues like bad breath. To care for a permanent retainer, it’s important to stay vigilant with your oral hygiene routine, particularly in regards to flossing. Consider investing in a floss threader to help you glide between wiring/brackets and access hard to reach areas.