Retainer Instructions


Removable Retainers

Your upper and lower retainers are removable appliances designed to maintain your teeth in their corrected positions.


  • The retainers will work only if they are in your mouth at all times (unless otherwise instructed.) If you do not wear them, the teeth will shift back toward their original positions.
  • Only take your retainer out when eating or brushing your teeth.
  • When removing the retainer, pull evenly from both sides at the same time. Pulling from only wone side may cause the retainer to crack in the middle. This would result in the need for a new retainer and additional charges.
  • Your retainers should be worn as instructed for the rest of your life (teeth have a natural tendency in later years to become rotated/crooked.)


  • Clean by brushing with toothpaste and occasionally soaking with denture cleaner or Retainer-Brite (information card available at our office) using cool water.
  • When not in your mouth, the retainer should be in the special box given to you (not wrapped in paper or put in your pocket.)
  • Keep away from pets and heat.
  • Bring retainers to every retainer check appointment. If you forget to bring it, your appointment will need to be rescheduled.

Important: if a retainer is lost or broken there will be a charge to replace it.

  • This requires two appointments; one to take a new impression and another to fit and deliver the new retainer.
  • If your retainer breaks do not throw it away or try to glue it yourself. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment. 

Fixed (Permanent) Retainers

Your permanent retainers are holding only the teeth that they are in contact with and do not replace your removable retainers. If they are removed later in life, the teeth will slowly begin shifting. If maintained properly with good oral hygiene, your fixed retainers should last and remain a lifetime.


  • The fixed retainer on the back of your lower six front teeth should be brushed thoroughly twice a day and flossed daily to prevent any buildup of tartar around the wire.
  • Floss can be looped around the incisors and pulled downward to clean between the wire and the back of your teeth.
  • If any of the incisors are bonded to the wire, Oral-B Superfloss should be used between those teeth to ensure that every contact is thoroughly cleaned.


  • You may have a smaller wire that is bonded to the back of your upper front teeth to keep them straight. We only place this type of retainer if it is absolutely necessary - due to the additional steps required to keep it clean.
  • Floss this retainer with Oral-B Superfloss each day. It has a stiff end that can be threaded between your teeth and under the wire for thorough cleaning.
  • As with the lower fixed retainer, the upper should remain on as long as you want the teeth to stay straight!
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