Some General Information About Retainers

Congratulations! You have completed the active phase of orthodontic treatment.

During the active phase of your treatment, your teeth were moved into their current position. Now, you have to help keep your teeth in place.

That's where the next phase of treatment, retention, comes in and it is every bit as important as the active phase. Wearing retainers is simple, but it requires your cooperation for success.

To Do Your Part:

Retainers come in three major types: standard removable retainers, essix (clear) removable retainers, and cemented or non-removable retainers. The orthodontist will select the one most appropriate to your specific case. Each type of retainer has specific wear and care instructions. Please follow these instructions as carefully as possible.

The retention phase of treatment should be viewed as a continuation of orthodontic treatment. It is very important to wear your retainers as prescribed by the orthodontist. Proper retainer wear will help to hold your teeth in their new positions.

If you do not wear your retainers as prescribed, your teeth will move or shift as your teeth try to return to the original positions they occupied before you began orthodontic treatment. If you stop wearing your retainers too early, the teeth will move rapidly.

When We Need to See You

Once you receive your retainers, you will need to come in at 6 week intervals. The orthodontist will assess your progress and may lengthen these intervals to 3 months, 6 months or 1 year depending on your individual case. Please try and keep to the schedule that the orthodontist prescribes as the earlier shifting or movement is detected the easier it will be for the orthodontist to minimize it.

Patients who do not wear their retainers as prescribed may require retreatment. We will gladly retreat you for relapse that you caused by not wearing your retainer(s), but you will be charged for such treatment.

Lost or Broken Retainers

Should you lose or break one of your retainers, please call the office. We will schedule an appointment with the orthodontist. Broken retainers may require a repair rather than a total replacement.

There is a charge for replacement retainers.

If you do require a replacement retainer, we will need to schedule two appointments, each equally important. The first appointment will be to take an impression of your teeth so that we may fabricate a new retainer. The second appointment is to fit the retainer. As with your first retainer(s), the replacement retainer(s) need to be fitted to the teeth by the orthodontist.

back to Retention Patient Index