retention.jpgWhen we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 12 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you've put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

Wearing retainers is one of the most important parts of your orthodontic treatment. Together we have worked hard to get your teeth into their best possible position. However, when braces are removed, the teeth have a tendency to want to return to their original positions. To prevent this from happening and to allow the teeth to adapt to their new positions, retainers must be worn faithfully.

Minor tooth movement occurs in every mouth throughout life, whether or not there has been prior orthodontic treatment. The most common area for change is in the lower front teeth. These changes are normal and may be greatly minimized or possibly eliminated by continued retainer wear on a long term basis.

We recommend that after the initial stabilization period (first 12 months), retainers be worn every night for at least one to two years and then to a lesser degree "forever" while sleeping. For some this might be three to four times a week and for others it might be once a week to check to see if any tooth movement has occurred.

Please bring your retainers to all of your retention appointments so we may check their fit and adjust them if necessary.

How to take proper care of your retainers:
  • Wear your retainer at all times, until Dr. Ellender instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean the retainer 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 your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its 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 it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.