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Retainers are made out of wires, clasps and plastic and are constructed for the purpose of holding the teeth. They are placed after the appliances have been removed. Your teeth need to stabilize while the bone builds up around them. Since retainers are removable, their use and care is entirely dependent upon the patient.

Strict attention to instructions is absolutely necessary.
Wearing Instructions

Your retainer should be worn ALL the time except when eating at home, brushing, participating in contact sports, or swimming in a lake (or ocean) where they could not be retrieved. When your retainers are not in your mouth, they should be kept in the case we provide and in a safe place. Do not put them on top of a table where they can get knocked off or in a pocket where they may be easily cracked. Keep them away from dogs as they will very quickly chew them if given the opportunity.

When you are eating away from home, we suggest that you try to leave your retainers in your mouth. This greatly decreases the chances of losing them. If you must take them out, be sure Never, NEVER to wrap them in a paper towel, napkin or tissue. This is the most common way of losing them. ALWAYS put them in the plastic retainer case we give you and ALWAYS KEEP THEM IN A SAFE PLACE!!!!

After the braces are removed, most patients must wear their retainers all the time for six to twelve months. Then, if everything is all right, we will reduce the time to twelve hours for a period. A further reduction to eight hours(night only) is made when teeth appear to be stable.

Getting used to your retainers

At first, your retainers will feel bulky. Speech may be a problem. Sometimes they will cause a slight lisp. In a few days speech usually returns to normal, so don't worry about it.

The day after you receive your retainers your teeth may be a bit sore. This won't last long. The tissue on the roof of your mouth may become a little tender. You should get used to this in two to three days. If not, call. Once in a great while, someone is allergic to the plastic.

Cleaning Retainers

Your retainers should be cleaned after each meal and before going to bed. We realize that while in school you may not be able to clean them, but please do so as soon as possible after school. Retainers can be cleaned with your regular toothbrush and toothpaste. You may use a denture brush and denture toothpaste if you wish. Fill the sink with cool water to cushion the fall in case you drop them. Do NOT use hot water as it will cause warpage. Clean retainer gently. Be careful not to bend the wires. Before placing the cleaned retainers in your mouth, be sure you thoroughly brush your teeth. If the retainer or teeth are not kept clean, an irritation of the gums may result and this can be serious.

Broken or Cracked?

If you are not careful with your retainers, they may crack, break or the wires may become bent. A small piece of plastic may break off. This is usually not serious and you can smooth the retainer with a fingernail file. If a larger piece breaks off, it may be necessary to change the entire plastic. Your retainer may crack or break in half. Then, it will either need to be repaired or have a plastic change. If your retainer becomes cracked, DO NOT WEAR IT as a piece may break off and lodge in your throat or you may swallow it.

A wire or clasp may become bent so the retainer doesn't fit or is too tight. Don't try to fix this yourself. In any of the above cases, you must call the office IMMEDIATELY. Retainers are made to withstand normal use, but they crack or break if handled roughly. Some patients have a habit of clicking the retainers up and down with their tongues. Please do not do this. Other ways that retainers break include stepping on them, putting them in pockets, dropping them, etc. If your retainers do break, be sure to bring in the pieces to your appointment. If you have the original mold from which the retainer was made, please bring this, too. We may be able to use it to repair the broken retainer without having to take a new impression. Please keep retainers away from anything hot like the stove, heater, dashboard of the car, etc. as heat will cause warpage.


CALL THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY. All that can be done is to take new impressions and make new retainers. In most cases we charge only what it costs us to make a new one. Don't take a chance. Let us decide if you need new retainers.

REMEMBER-NEVER wrap your retainers up in a towel, napkin or tissue, as they may accidentally be thrown in the garbage.

Don't fit

Call the office immediately. the wires may need adjusting, a new tooth may have come in or you teeth may be moving.

How long do I have to wear these THINGS!

Recent studies have shown that some cases will have a tendency to relapse if the retainers are not worn for many years after the braces are removed. We recommend you continue wearing your retainers at night to insure your teeth do not move. Retainers are an essential part of treatment. If you neglect them, your teeth may shift too much and your appliances may have to be replaced. If you ever have any question, please call.

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  Copyright © Ocean Orthodontics L.L.C. 2005     By: Turgut Z. Yesilyurt