Elsa from Frozen, collage and oil paint on digitally printed canvas, 10x10”, 2016

The orthodontic retainer is often the last step in an orthodontic procedure, to ensure the teeth stay in place after braces or surgery. Each retainer is a perfect representation of the individual’s palette, similar to a fingerprint. The teeth will otherwise seek to return to their native state. The majority of people who undergo a retainer fitting are adolescents, and therefore the retainer can be seen as a 3-dimensional snapshot of the individual’s mouth from just before the brink of adulthood. It is a relic of the doorway to adult life, manufactured by way of one of the body’s most intimate orifices.