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Image by Diana Polekhina



Purpose: To stabilize new tooth positions while bone fills in, gum fibers reorganize, final jaw growth occurs and wisdom teeth erupt. To maintain current tooth position for life.

How do they work? 
Plastic or wire fit around your teeth holding them near the position achieved by the braces.

How long do I have to wear my retainers?
Forever! They should be worn nightly as long as you want your teeth to remain straight. Adaptive dental change occurs naturally throughout life. Jaw relations change and teeth tend to space or re-twist (much as they were before treatment) until the fourth decade of life.

How do they feel? 
Retainers should fit snugly without pinching. They may make speech difficult at first, but should not be uncomfortable.


  • Remove for eating, brushing, swimming, and sports.

  • You must floss around fixed wire retainers.

  • To prevent loss or breakage, place retainers in their case when not in the mouth.

  • Keep away from pets and small children. Pets will eat them and small children will hide them!

  • Never wrap a retainer in a napkin when you are eating; chances are you will throw it away. Do not place them in your pocket or purse unless they are in their case.

  • Avoid leaving retainers in extreme heat as they will become distorted.

  • Clean daily by soaking them for 20 minutes in denture cleaner (Efferdent, Polident) with cold water. Brush them with the cleaning solution when done soaking and then rinse with cold water. You may also brush them with toothpaste and rinse with cold water.

  • Call us any time the retainers become loose, uncomfortable or badly worn.

  • Bring your retainers to every appointment.


Be faithful to yourself and maintain your healthy, attractive smile for a lifetime!

Remember…the two best places for retainers are in your mouth or in their case!

Long Term Retention

You’ve completed the period of supervised retention. Retainer wear must continue, but you won’t have to keep regularly scheduled appointments in the future.

Here’s what you need to know about keeping your teeth aligned:

  • Only you can keep your teeth straight from this point on.

  • You must wear your retainers EVERY night for forever!

  • The teeth will move if you don’t wear your retainers. If you choose to discontinue use, you must assume responsibility for any tooth movement. If the teeth shift, the only way to recover could be through re-treatment and additional expense.

  • The period of supervised retention has ended. Our usual office visit fee will be charged for future treatment or adjustments.

  • Retainers are like eyeglasses, contact lenses, or any other personal item that is worn daily – they will wear out. There will be a charge to replace worn-out retainers.

  • If you have wisdom teeth, please have your general dentist monitor these and treat as necessary.

  • We’ve enjoyed having you as a member of our practice family. If we can help you in any way in the future, just call. We’re here to help!

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