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Retainer Instructions


To maintain your finished result, it is imperative that you adhere to your retention schedule.  If not followed, your teeth may shift to the extent that the results we both worked so hard to obtain will be compromised, and retreatment  with additional expense would be needed.  As we discussed, this can be avoided by simply wearing your retainers as directed.  My team and I will help you in any way possible to adhere to your retention guidelines.  Please call the office if you have any questions.

Essix Retainer (Clear Retainers) Instructions

  • Retainers are to be worn at night only, unless instructed otherwise.  That's each and every night.  Remove the retainers when eating, brushing or swimming. 
  • Clean with soap, water and Q-tips.  The commercial cleansers “Efferdent” or “Retainer Brite” work fine, too.  DON’T brush the appliance with toothpaste.  It dulls the appearance.
  • Store your retainer in the case we supplied when out of your mouth.  Put a little water in the case to keep the retainers moist.
  • While the retainer can be worn during sport activities, a regular sports mouth guard provides better protection.
  • If you miss a night or two, wear the retainer full time and bite down to seat it fully.  The teeth may be a little sore but should realign.  If they don’t, call the office immediately.
  • If an edge of the retainer rubs your gums, trim with scissors or file and smooth with an emery board.
  • For some patients, a bead of fluoride gel or remineralization gel placed in the retainer as directed will help with discolored enamel.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive…with proper care they last for years.
  • Dogs like to eat retainers – so keep them away from Fido.
  • Always bring retainers to your appointments.

Hawley Retainer (Plastic and Metal Retainers) Instructions

  • Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainers out when eating…and always put retainers in their case!  (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers 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 retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer 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 them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care.  If retainers are lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us.  Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive…with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove retainers when swimming.

Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine and napkins.




  • “The staff went above and beyond! More than generous in working out fees. We are over the moon with treatment results! What a difference from where my daughter started. Wonderful staff and personal attention – it’s been the best experience!”

    Leslie R.

  • “Well organized, well-run office. Everyone is very nice. We like the raffles, and the magic show made it fun! Keep up the good work!”

    Jennifer C.