Retainer Instructions

What Are Retainers?

Retainers are custom-made orthodontic appliances constructed from a special plastic and designed to be easily removed by you. Your retainers may be completely transparent and/or a color of your choice.

Why Do I Need Retainers?

Your teeth will shift and become crooked again if you do not wear your retainers!  Bone remodeling around the roots of your teeth allows the braces to move your teeth.  Research demonstrates that remodeled bone requires up to six months to regain original strength.  In fact, you may notice that your teeth feel wiggly for a while. As the bone restores its strength, your retainers maintain your beautiful smile by holding the crowns of your teeth in their proper position.

Wearing and Caring For Your Retainers 

  • Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements will last a lifetime.
  • Take your retainers out when eating and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers thoroughly at least once a day preferably right before inserting them in your mouth. Use cold - not hot water. Rinsing your retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. At least once every two weeks, soak your retainers in a denture cleaner, like Efferdent®,  to thoroughly clean them. Dissolve Efferdent® in hot water then allow the solution to reach room temperature before soaking retainers.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive; with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove retainers when swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.