General information

Retainers are a necessary part of treatment for any patient that has had orthodontic treatment. There are different types of retainers including removable and fixed/bonded retainers. They need to be worn after orthodontic treatment to help stabilize and support the final orthodontic result. They are custom made to hold your teeth in their new position. They are also needed to maintain the alignment of your teeth over time. As you get older, it is possible for teeth to shift whether you had previous orthodontic treatment or not.

retainers retainers

Dr. Burckhard will discuss a retainer plan with you to help maintain your new smile. He will monitor you with your retainers for a set period of time after your orthodontic treatment.   If you lose or break a retainer, please call our office to schedule an appointment so that we can help you replace or fix your retainer.

Just remember, it is important to maintain some form of lifetime retainer wear to help preserve your orthodontic result.

Retainer instructions

  1. Wear your retainers as instructed by Dr. Burckhard.
  2. The retainers should be removed when you are:
    1. Eating
    2. Brushing your teeth
    3. In or on the water (lake or swimming pool). This will help you avoid losing it in the water.
    4. Involved in vigorous activities that could result in loss or breakage of the retainer (sports activities, gym class, etc.). Remember to wear a protective mouth guard to protect your new smile for these activities.
    5. Participating in certain activities such as band, choir, etc., if it interferes.
  3. You can drink water with your retainer in place, but other drinks should be avoided.
  4. Clean your retainers regularly either with :
    1. Toothbrush and toothpaste OR soap and water with a toothbrush.
    2. You can also soak them in a cleaner such as Efferdent to help keep them fresh.
    3. Do not soak them in mouthwash (certain ingredients in mouthwash can make them brittle).
  5. Never use hot water to clean your retainers. Do not boil them, do not place them in the dishwasher, and do not use hot water with Efferdent or a similar cleaner if you use them. Hot liquids can distort your retainers.
  6. Do not leave your retainer in a hot car in the summer. This can also distort your retainer.
  7. Keep the retainers IN THE PROTECTIVE CASE when you are not wearing them to prevent them from being lost or broken.
  8. Keep your retainer away from ALL pets. They like to chew on retainers.
  9. If your retainer becomes lost or broken, call the office and we will help you get a new one. Never wear multiple pieces if the retainer breaks, you need to get a new one.  There will be a charge for a new retainer.
  10. If you have a clear, vacuum-form retainer with a sharp edge, you can smooth it with an emery board.
  11. If you have a clear, vacuum-form retainer and it breaks, you should not wear it.  These retainers are designed to cover all your teeth.  If it does not cover all your teeth, the teeth no longer covered by the retainer can move and this can change your bite.  Never wear multiple pieces if the retainer breaks, you need to get a new one.

If your retainer does not fit for any reason, call the office immediately so that we can see you for an evaluation.