The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you’re responsible and conscious of your oral health.

Removable Retainers

Once active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could mean re-treatment.

How Removable Retainers are Worn

Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers full time as prescribed by our orthodontists.

Once your teeth have stabilized, wear your retainers at night indefinitely to maintain your beautiful smile.

Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal. Be aware if you have any of these habits, if so, it is especially important to be vigilant in wearing your retainer.

Dental Examinations and Cleanings

You or your child should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, or modify them to include thorough brushing and flossing techniques. The dentist should see you at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations or more frequently if the dentist recommends it.

Hawley Retainer

Traditional retainer and made of acrylic and stainless steel wires. 

Clear Retainer

Made of clear plastic and looks like a clear aligner, such as Invisalign.

Caring for your Retainer

Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (F°).

Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth. They should also be kept away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them. Retainers should be cleaned before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A mixture of 50% vinegar to water for soaking an help loosen up tightly bound plaque residue. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleaning residue.

Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one or two sets of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.


Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention

  • Mouth breathing.
  • Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity).
  • Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture.
  • Playing a musical instruments with a reed.
  • Lip sucking.
  • Pen or pencil biting.
  • Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment.
  • Severely rotated teeth.