Retainer Instructions


  • Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor 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®, Retainer Brite, OAP 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. 
  • You can drink cold clear liquids with them on. Anything else will stain them.     
  • To insert: start from the front. Press over teeth. Gently work around to the back.
  • Do not bite into place; this will cause them to wear out. Instead, push into place with fingers.
  • To remove:  pull from one side in the back and work around. Pulling both sides simultaneously can crack it in the middle.
  • If you lose the essix retainers, call us immediately before the teeth start to shift.  Replacement retainers are $100 each. Or more if we need to move teeth back.