Retention is a very important phase of orthodontic treatment. Teeth always have a tendency to move back toward their original positions. Therefore, upon removal of the braces, all patients are required to wear retainers full time for approximately 4 months. Retainers will be required on an evening and night-time basis thereafter. There will NEVER be a time when retainers will not be required—keeping your teeth straight is a lifetime commitment!
- Take your retainers out when eating and always put retainers in their case - never wrap them in a tissue! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and warm (but not hot) water. Toothpaste can also be used but the best cleaner is dish detergent. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used to freshen your retainer but do not take the place of brushing.
- 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 if your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive but with proper care they will last for years!
- Keep retainers away from hot water, pockets, the washing machine and napkins.
Types of Retainers
Hawley Retainer — Removable Hawley retainers are usually worn after braces are removed to maintain the alignment of your teeth.
Lingual Retainers — These permanent retainers are usually glued to the inside of your bottom (and sometimes top) front teeth.
Essix Retainers — These removable, wire-free, clear retainers will maintain the alignment of your teeth after your braces have been removed.