What to Expect with Retainers

Homecare for Retainers

What are retainers?

Retainers are removable appliances provided after orthodontics is complete to maintain tooth positions.

Why are retainers necessary?

Retainers are necessary to ensure the teeth stay in the ideal position after orthodontics is complete.

What happens if I don’t wear my retainers?

If you do not wear your retainers the teeth will likely move.

What happens if my teeth move?

If tooth movement occurs then orthodontic treatment may be required to recover the tooth positions.

How much do I wear my retainers?

Retainers prescription:

  • 1 month of full time wear – all the time except when eating or drinking anything but water
    – brush teeth and retainers after eating prior to placing them back in the mouth
  • After one month retainers are to be worn every night while sleeping (8 hours) for 1 year
    – clean retainers in the morning upon waking

How do I clean my retainers?

Clean retainers with cool water and toothbrush and toothpaste.

What do I do with my retainers when I am not wearing them?

When the retainer is not in the mouth, keep it in the case provided.

What do I do if I lose or break my retainer?

If a retainer is lost or broken, call the office as soon as possible to see about remaking/repairing the retainer.

How long do I need to wear the retainers?

After 1 year we will assess the need for future retainer wear. Most stability is achieved during the first year of retainers. While you are welcome to continue wearing the retainer every night, most patients transition to 3 nights a week through the teen years. Adults patients are usually required to wear retainers more frequently.