Congratulations on completing orthodontic treatment! You now enter one of the most important phases – retention. Because teeth have a tendency to move back to their original positions once braces are removed, retainers are worn to hold teeth in their new, correct position. During the retention phase, you will receive two retainers - an upper removable retainer which is worn 24/7 the first few months and a lower fixed retainer.

About Retainers

  • Retainers are used to hold the teeth in the correct position achieved with orthodontics treatment.
  • All retainers are different—there are colorful removable retainers with wires, clear custom molded retainers, and fixed bonded retainers.
  • The types of retainers are determined by Dr. Koh based on your original bite and teeth conditions and the results achieved.
  • To keep teeth from moving back to their original position, retainers MUST be worn regularly.

Retainer Care

  • Rinse your retainers in cool water and brush them twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep them as clean as possible.
  • You may also soak retainers overnight in a dental cleaning product, such as Efferdent or Polident. This should be done about once a week.
  • NEVER wrap them in Kleenex or a napkin, it is likely you will lose them or throw them in the trash.
  • Keep your retainers in a cool, dry place when not in your mouth, your retainer case is the best place to keep them!
  • WATCH OUT FOR PETS! They love to chew and eat retainers!
  • ALWAYS remove your appliance to eat, drink, and brush your teeth before placing them back in your mouth.
  • Keep them out of sunlight or heat, as they can become warped.
  • NEVER soak retainers in peroxide, and never expose them to hot water.
  • AVOID soaking in mouthwash, as this will stain your retainer.
  • For bonded retainers, make sure to brush around it and use a floss threader or super floss to maintain access in between those teeth.

Lost or Broken Retainers

If there is ever a concern that the retainer is not fitting well, or if it is broken or lost, please call the office immediately so we can schedule an appointment to replace or repair the retainer(s). To have you retainer replaced, we will have to take impressions again. If you can locate your retainer, please bring it with you to your appointment. In some cases, adjustments can be made at the same appointment. If it is broken, we may be able to repair it so please bring all of the pieces with you. Please note that there may be a fee for replacing or repairing your retainer.