Retainer Instructions


You have finally finished the active movement phase of your orthodontic treatment. The removal of your braces signals not only the first glimpse of your new smile but the start of the retention and observation period of your orthodontic care as well. Remember-this part of your orthodontic treatment is just as important as the active movement phase in determining the ultimate success of your treatment! Retainers continue to stabilize your teeth even after the braces have been removed. Their job is important because without some form of lifetime retention, latent facial growth, biting pressures, habits, eruption of wisdom teeth, and changing dental health will cause teeth to shift even after orthodontic correction is completed.

*The orthodontic retention and observation period includes one(1) upper removable retainer, one(1) lower permanent retainer and five(5) retainer check appointments. Checkup and adjustment appointments are scheduled with decreasing frequency, usually every 3-6 months. Please bring your upper retainer to all of your retainer check appointments.

*The upper removable retainer should be worn 24 hours a day for the first two(2) months after the braces are removed. During this time, the retainer should only be removed to eat and brush your teeth. After this time, the retainer may be worn only at night for an indefinite period, usually a minimum of two years.

* The lower permanent retainer is glued to the back-side of your lower six front teeth and will remain indefinitely to help minimize shifting.

* Insufficient wear of the upper removable retainer, may cause the bite to shift, which can put pressure on the lower teeth and result in the loosening of the lower permanent retainer.

* If the lower permanent retainer becomes loose on one side, please call the office to reglue it. Please do not pull the retainer out, as this ruins the wire and a replacement retainer will be necessary. If the retainer comes completely out, there will be a fee to recement it.

* Broken or lost retainers will result in a replacement charge. Please call the office immediately if your retainer is lost or broken.

* Retainer Care. Brush your retainer with cool water and a clear antibacterial soap. You may also soak them in a denture cleanser made for orthodontic appliances regularly to keep it fresh. Never place your retainer in hot water, which may distort the material and necessitate replacement. Please keep the retainer in the case provided, when it is not in your mouth. Write your name and phone number on the inside lid of the retainer case. Common pitfalls: the dog ate it, it was thrown out in the trash after being wrapped in a napkin, chewing on the retainer, putting the retainer in a pocket.