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Retainers

At the end of your orthodontic journey you will be given retainers to help keep your teeth straight. A very common retainer question is “How long do I have to wear my retainers?”. Our answer is “However long you want to keep your teeth straight”. Studies have shown that teeth continue to move and shift over time. The more you wear your retainer, the less likely this is to occur. 

To prevent tooth movement after treatment we provide both bonded and removable retainers. Why offer two types of retainers? Because life happens! Think of it as an insurance policy. If the bonded retainer gets loose when your vacationing in Hawaii or off to college, you will have a backup to prevent tooth movement. 

Bonded Retainers are “glued” behind your front teeth. We will show you how to floss and brush with them. Most people love these because after a few days it is easy to forget the retainers are even there. 

Removable Retainers are clear trays that are worn full time for 6 weeks and then at night only. They are taken out to eat, brush, and can be cleaned using a toothbrush.

Taking care of your retainers is an important responsibility. After a few days you will get the hang of it no problem. Please follow the recommended home care instructions below.

  • Wear removable retainers 20-22 hours a day the first 6 weeks after treatment and then just at night.

  • Take your retainers out when eating, and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)

  • Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, 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 your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.

  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.

  • Retainer replacement is expensive; with proper care they will last for years!

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