After the active orthodontic treatment period is complete and your braces have been removed, you will be given a retainer. This marks the beginning of the retention phase, during which a retainer is used to hold teeth in their new positions while the jawbone, gums and muscles adapt. You must wear the retainer as instructed, otherwise your teeth may revert to their former positions, and the benefits of having had braces will be lost.

When to Wear Your Retainer

Wear your retainer at all times, even while you are sleeping, with the following exceptions: The retainer may be removed for eating, swimming, and vigorous sporting activities.

Pain and Soreness

The retainer may make your teeth sore and you may even find that your speech is slightly altered for a few days. This is normal with a new retainer or after an adjustment and will resolve on its own. If you develop a sore spot on your gums, call our office so that we can adjust the retainer for better comfort.

Cleaning Your Retainer

Brush your retainer twice daily with toothpaste if your retainer is wire and plastic. If needed, partial denture cleaner can be used for a more thorough cleaning by soaking it in cool water and tablet for 5 to 7 minutes.  Do not boil your retainer to sterilize it. If you feel that it needs sterilization, clean it with dish soap and lukewarm water.  You can also use Listerine or Scope mouthwash for a five to seven minute soak.  A more thorough cleaning can be done if you bring it to the office so that we can properly disinfect it for you.  Clear retainers need to be brushed with plain liquid dish soap on a toothbrush.  Retainer Brite tablets are recommended for use to more thoroughly clean clear retainers.  Use lukewarm to cool water and soak for 5 to 7 minutes.  Do not use toothpaste, it can streak a white color on the clear retainer that is not removable.  

How to Keep Your Retainer Safe

Because the retainer is removable, it can be taken out for convenience during meals and for cleaning. However,  care should be taken not to lose your retainer. When eating meals, be sure to keep it in its case for safety. Never wrap the retainer in a napkin or store it in your pocket. Keep it away from dogs and cats, as they love to chew on these appliances. Please note: an additional charge will be incurred for lost or broken retainers.

Treatment Time

Retainer treatment time varies by patient. Some may even require permanent retention to keep teeth aligned properly. We will discuss this as part of your overall treatment plan.

We are here to make your and your child’s orthodontic experience as comfortable and successful as possible. Please give Dr. Ziaja a call at 586-247-6453 for more information and to set up a FREE orthodontic examination where we can discuss how to Create the Magic of Your Smile!