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Retention After Braces

Congratulations! The braces have come off, and the first part of your orthodontic treatment has been completed. The next part of your treatment, Retention, is just beginning, and is every bit as important as having the braces.

Proper Retention Care:

  • Wear the retainers all the time (including when sleeping), except for eating or cleaning your teeth.
  • Keep your retainer in its case when it is not in your mouth. Retainers kept in your pocket can be easily crushed or broken. Retainers wrapped in tissues or paper towels are often thrown away by mistake.
  • Clean your retainer at least once daily; using a toothbrush and either toothpaste, mouthwash, or hydrogen peroxide; rinse well before placing back into the mouth. Soap and an old toothbrush can be used to disinfect the retainer; rinse well before placing back into the mouth.
  • Call the office right away if the retainer becomes loose or breaks. Usually, it is a simple, quick adjustment or repair to make the retainer comfortable. If the retainer is not worn for any reason, teeth can move, and a new retainer will have to be made to fit the teeth in their new position

Do NOT do the following:

  • Do not boil, put in the microwave oven, or the dishwasher to clean. The retainer base is plastic, and will melt or warp if overheated. Use only lukewarm or cool water when cleaning your retainer.
  • Do not put your retainer in a pocket or wrap it in tissue or a paper towel. Retainers kept in your pocket can be easily crushed or broken. Retainers wrapped in tissues or paper towels are often thrown away by mistake. Keep your retainer away from pets, especially dogs who will chew on retainers if they can! Keep the retainer in its case when it is not being worn.
  • Do not eat with your retainer in your mouth. Retainers are made to sit passively in the mouth, and will not withstand the stresses of chewing. When eating; always remove your retainer and put it in its case.