Once your braces are removed the retention phase of your orthodontic treatment will begin. Retention is every bit as important as orthodontics, and this phase generally lasts for 12 months. Wearing your retainer is a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment, so make sure to continue wearing it as not to let your initial investment in time and money go to waste. Be sure to wear your retainer at all times except for when brushing.

Retainer Basics:

  1. Retainer wear should be 22 hours a day until your doctor tells you differently.
  2. If your retainer seems tighter than normal when you are putting it in, it is most likely because your teeth are moving. This means you need to wear it more often.
  3. Take your retainer out for eating and brushing.
  4. When your retainers are not in your mouth, they should always be in the case! Don’t ever wrap them in a napkin because they will surely be thrown out.
  5. Always keep your retainers out of reach of pets, especially dogs!
  6. Many retainers are made with heat, which means they can be distorted if they get hot. So keep your retainers away from hot water, cars and dashboards, pockets, and washing machines.
  7. Clean your retainer once a day with a toothbrush (no toothpaste) to remove debris. Retainer or denture cleaners can be used as well and are very effective.
  8. Always bring your retainer to every appointment.
  9. Retainer adjustments should only be made by your orthodontist!
  10. If you lose or break your retainer, call us immediately. It does not take long for things to shift, and the best way to keep your teeth straight is by consistent retainer wear.
  11. Please take care of your retainers, they are expensive to replace and if properly cared for they can last for many years.