Your smile and teeth look excellent after you are done with your braces or Invisalign. Your retainers will help to maintain them! Much like your nails and hair that constantly grow, your teeth move throughout your life but at a much slower pace. If they are left without proper retention, your teeth will tend to go back to their original place. 

If you ever happen to get tired of your beautiful smile, the solution is easy… stop wearing your retainers!

General Care Instructions

  • Wear your retainer as instructed.
  • ​For the first few days, speaking might be different with the retainers in. To learn how to speak with them, talk more or read aloud.
  • Take out your removable retainer when you eat.
  • Keep your retainer in its case whenever it is not in your mouth. School lunchrooms or restaurants are the most common places to lose a retainer.
  • Keep it out of reach of your pets. They love to chew on them!
  • Retainers are breakable, so be careful with them if they are not in your mouth.
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • If you misplace, break or lose your retainer, call us immediately.
  • Like your shoes, retainers wear out and need to be replaced once you see any signs of damage. The better you take care of your retainer, the longer it will last.
  • If you grind or clench your teeth at night or during the day, your retainer’s life will be shorter.
  • If you feel pressure on a few teeth while wearing the retainer that means those teeth have moved since last time you had your retainer on. Make sure to wear your retainer full time for the next few days to correct it.

Filing Invisalign Tray

If you need to smooth any edges of your Retainer tray because it is not comfortable, you can do so with a nail file exactly like the video shows.

Cleaning Instructions

  • Clean your removable retainer outside of your mouth.
  • Never put it in a dishwasher or use bleaching detergent on it.
  • Do not use toothpaste to clean it. Micro scratches caused by toothpaste will discolor your retainer.
  • Use a soft brush and liquid soap.
  • Rinse it thoroughly with warm but not hot water.
  • Brush it at least once a day. It will remove the plaque, and eliminate odors.
  • To remove the stains and keep them clear, once in a while, soak your retainers in Hydrogen Peroxide for a few hours. You can buy Hydrogen Peroxide from any pharmacy.

Essix Retainer

It’s clear and removable, similar to a mouthpiece or bleaching tray but made of more resilient material. It covers all surfaces of your teeth.

Very cosmetic
Very comfortable
Retains all teeth in their position
Protects your teeth from enamel wear

It does not have the longest life span.
Not as durable against occlusal force if you grind your teeth at night.

Retainer – Essix Type

Retainer – Hawley Type

Hawley Retainer

It is removable and consists of an acrylic part on the tongue side and wires on the lip side.

The wire is adjustable
The orthodontist can create minor tooth movement with it

Not cosmetic
Not the best at retaining the back teeth
Wires require adjustments frequently
If it is not adjusted, teeth will move
Covers the palate
The acrylic part is relatively thick
Affects your speech

Permanent Retainer

It's a piece of passive wire nicely adapted to your teeth and bonded directly to the teeth.

Very cosmetic
It's permanently bonded to teeth

Only retains the front teeth
Flossing is difficult
Not the healthiest for your gums
Interferes with the bite if placed on the upper teeth
Breaks too frequently during routine cleaning

Retainer – Permanent Type