When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. We actively monitor your retainer wearing for 18 months after removal of your braces. 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.

Removable Retainers

  • Initially, your speech may be affected but should return to normal after a few days of wearing the retainer.
  • Retainers should be worn as instructed by Dr. Donato. Depending on the retainer you were given, remove them while eating and brushing your teeth.
  • It is not a good idea to pop the retainer in and out with your tongue (called “clicking”). Remove the upper retainer by pulling it down with your fingers in the molar area. Remove the lower retainer by pulling on the metal loops by the cuspids.
  • Keep retainers clean by brushing them with your toothbrush and water. Toothpaste works well to clean Hawley retainers but can scratch the clear type of retainers. Retainers can be cleaned with commercial retainer cleaner specified for use with retainers. Denture cleaner can be used occasionally but because of stronger chemicals, these solutions may hurt the solder on Hawley retainers over time.
  • When retainers are not being worn, they should be kept in their case (not wrapped in a paper towel or in your pocket). If your retainers get thrown in the garbage, don’t try to clean it with boiling water! Retainers can be cleaned with antibacterial soap and rinsed well. If further disinfecting is requested, please contact our office for further instructions.
  • Retainers should be kept away from pets – they can make a very expensive chew toy!!
  • Retainers should not be left in hot cars. They can warp.
  • Please bring retainers to EVERY adjustment appointment.

Fixed Retainer

  • A fixed retainer will remain in your mouth permanently or until Dr. Donato approves its removal.
  • When brushing, be careful to clean the wire and the tongue side of your lower teeth.
  • Our office recommends flossing at least once a day with a floss threader between the retainer and gums. Floss threader can be used in the same manner as with braces.
  • Occasionally the bond between the retainer and the tooth can come loose. Please call our office so that it can be repaired.