Orthodontic Retainers…what we want you to know.

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Congratulations! You have now completed the hardest phase of treatment, the active phase, and have begun the last and easiest phase, retention.  Not to be taken lightly, this phase is equally as important as the previous phase(s) of treatment and is essential to maintain the results we have achieved.

  • Removable retainers are to be worn full time for 12 months and at nights only for another 12 months. I would encourage you to keep your retainer(s) after and try it in every 3-5 nights. If it fits in easily, your teeth have not shifted, if it is tight, wear it again for a few nights. It is normal for teeth to move throughout one’s life time whether you have or haven’t had orthodontic treatment; this will help maintain the results.
  • Fixed retainers, which are more commonly used on the lower teeth, are glued in. These are left in place for anywhere from 3-5 years. It is essential that you floss under your retainer.
  • Your speech may initially be affected. This is transient and you will learn very quickly how to talk with your retainer(s). Reading out loud will help speed up the process.
  • You may initially find that you are salivating a lot. Again as your body gets used to the retainer(s), the salivary flow rate will return to normal.
  • Brush and floss regularly.
  • Have your teeth cleaned and examined regularly during retainer wear.
  • The retainer(s) need to be comfortable. If a sore spot develops, please call the office so we can adjust the retainer.
  • DO NOT bite your retainer into place. Gently seat it using your thumbs or fingers to push it into place.
  • Remember to brush your retainer(s) each day when you brush your teeth. In addition, your retainer (s) should be soaked twice a week in a commercial denture cleaning product of your choice, or my favorite, one tsp of dishwashing crystals in a glass of hot water for 30 minutes. Rinse it well after.
  • When you remove your retainer(s) for eating, remember to put them in the case provided and someplace safe. I do not recommend putting them in your lunch bag or wrapping them in a napkin, as this is the most common way retainers are lost.
  • Dogs love retainers and will chew them; this is the second most common way retainers are damaged/destroyed.
  • Insurance is available through the lab where we have the retainers made. Let us know if you wish to have more information.
  • Lastly, remove your retainer(s) for swimming and any sport where contact is possible.

Thank you and if there are any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Download PDF:  Orthodontic Retainers