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Retainer Instructions

On the day you have your braces removed you begin an important phase of your orthodontic treatment… RETENTION. Over the past months, your teeth have moved a considerable distance and are not yet firm. Your orthodontic retainers have been carefully designed to hold your teeth in their new positions until they are stable. The following guidelines can help you properly care for your retainers and prevent your teeth from shifting following treatment.

Bonded Retainers

  • A bonded retainer should maintain itself under normal eating conditions. However, the bonding material can break. Avoid biting directly into anything hard such as suckers and ice. Don’t chew on hard objects against your retainer.
  • Incorrect biting can result in breakage and tooth movement can occur within a very short period of time. Call our office immediately if you notice your appliance is loose or if you notice any movement of your teeth.
  • When brushing, be extra careful to clean the wire and the inside of your teeth. Remember to floss your retainer daily with provided floss threaders.
  • If your retainer becomes loose within the first year following the removal of your braces, there is no charge to re-cement the appliance. If the retainer should become completely detached, please do not throw it away. The retainer is custom made for your teeth. There will be a lab charge to replace the appliance if it is thrown away.
Dr. Backus is the patient getting her retainer fixed by her team, Backus Smiles

Removable Retainers

  • To ensure your teeth remain in their new positions, wear your retainer as directed by Dr. Backus. Later you can wear it at night only.
  • Your retainer is fragile. Be delicate when placing, removing or handling it. Avoid flipping the retainer with your tongue. This could damage the enamel of your teeth or break the retainer.
  • Remove the retainer by pulling down on the clasp around the back tooth. Don’t pull down on the wire across the front. This will break or bend the wire.
  • Clean the retainer by brushing it with toothpaste and occasionally with Retainer Brite, using warm (not hot) water. If you don’t, a hard deposit will accumulate on its surface and irritate your gums. Avoid soaking your retainer in denture cleaner, as this will cause the wires to weaken and break. Avoid soaking your retainer in mouthwash, which will cause the retainer to become discolored and brittle.
  • Also, avoid storing your retainer near any source of heat. Please DO NOT boil your retainer.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, keep it in the special case given to you – not in your pocket or wrapped in a paper towel- someone will surely mistake it for trash and throw it away. The plastic retainer box will protect it from accidental damage and breakage under excessive pressure.
  • Pets love retainers so make sure you keep them out of their reach.
  • Please bring your retainer to each appointment.
  • Remember your first set of retainers have been paid for in the original fee. However, there will be an additional charge to repair lost or damaged retainers. So please be very careful with them!

If you should have any questions about your retainer, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (205) 879-0557.