Retainers & Appliances


Retention: The Final Step of Orthodontic Treatment

At 20 Mile Orthodontics, we strive to provide you with the highest quality of orthodontic care to patients of all ages in our family-friendly environment. Dr. Ted Struhs and his dedicated team also place a focus on cutting-edge technology so that we can offer a number of different orthodontic treatments depending on a patient’s wants and needs. 
Although people associate braces with orthodontic treatment, there are other appliances that are critical to maintaining your straight teeth long after treatment ends. After your treatment ends, retainers are used to ensure a patient’s teeth don’t shift back into an unfavorable position. It’s vital to keep these retainers and appliances clean at all times so that you can maintain your beautiful new smile long after you leave our Parker and Castle Rock offices.

Below you’ll find the variety of retainers and appliances we use to help our patients achieve their desired result. Each case is different, and any combination (or none at all) of appliances may be used during the orthodontic journey.

Types of Retainers 

Essix Retainer

essix_retainersSimilar to Invisalign aligners, the Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. They’re inexpensive, they’re easier to wear, and they have no wires. These retainers  can be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges


Lingual Retainers

lingualbondedretainerBonded lingual retainers are cemented to the inside surfaces of your lower teeth. Because it’s permanently attached, it’s one of the most proven methods to keep your lower teeth from shifting.  However, if you’re wearing these retainers, you have to be careful with your bite. Incorrect biting may break the bonding material and cause teeth to shift quickly. Just like with removable retainers, it’s important to keep them clean. Be sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth along with the wire using floss threaders.


Hawley Retainers

HawleyThe most common type of retainer is the Hawley retainer. This retainer is removable and made up of a combination of sturdy acrylic and metal wires. It’s specially made from impressions of your mouth to fit snugly and keep your teeth from shifting into misalignment. The acrylic of these retainers can actually be personalized with a large variety of colors and patterns.

Types of Appliances


herbstOne of the most common problems that an orthodontist will treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower teeth. It’s often that this condition is actually caused by a small lower jaw that’s farther back than it should be. The Herbst appliance will prevent the lower jaw from moving farther back and encourage it to catch up to the upper jaw in growth. Despite the Herbst appliance preventing the lower jaw from moving backward, it won’t interfere with chewing food or opening and closing of the mouth.

Rapid Palatal Expander 

The Rapid Palatal Expander is an orthodontic device that’s used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It’s generally used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are blocked out of the dental arch. It is attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands and it will provide gradual outward pressure on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure will cause an increased amount of bone to grow between the halves of the jaw, resulting in a wider space for the upper jaw.


In more extreme cases, headgear may be used to correct an excessive overbite. This is done by placing pressure against the upper teeth and jaw, which will either hold the teeth in position or move them into better position. The severity of the problem will determine the amount of time the headgear will have to be worn; it requires consistent usage to achieve success.
When a severe underbite is present, reverse pull headgear may be recommended. This type of headgear will fix the discrepancy between the upper and lower jaw by moving the upper jaw forward. 

Contact Your Local Orthodontist Today!

If you have any questions about orthodontic retention, or any of our services, we’re always happy to answer them. You can contact our Parker office at (303) 841-2262, or our Castle Rock office at (720) 733-0353. You can also complete an online appointment request, or view our contact page for additional information. We can’t wait to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!