- Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
- When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
We Offer 3 types of Retainers
Clear retainers are removable and custom molded to fit your teeth and they are invisible when you wear them. They’re less likely to impede on your ability to speak, but if you don’t clean them properly, they can trap food and drink against your teeth, causing cavities. Clear retainers also can’t be adjusted, so if your teeth move or the retainers are damaged, they’ll need to be completely replaced.
Hawley Type Retainers
Hawley type retainers are a popular type of retainer that can be adjusted through time. They are made of a thin metal wire attached to plastic that is molded to the shape of your mouth.
Fixed or permanent retainers are metal wires bonded to the back of the teeth to keep them straight. Since they are affixed to the back of the teeth, they are very effective and reliable. However, patients with fixed retainers may have difficulty cleaning the plaque between the wires and teeth, so these retainers are usually removed after some time.
If you have questions about retainer care, feel free to reach out to our orthodontists in Encino.