Your smile and teeth look excellent after you are done with your braces or Invisalign. Your retainers will help to maintain that! 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 position. 

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 can break. Be careful with them if they are not in your mouth.
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • 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.
  • Feeling pressure on a few teeth means teeth moved a little since last time you had your retainer on. Make sure to wear it full time for a few days to correct it.
  • If you misplace, break or lose your retainer, call us immediately.

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 a more resilient material. It covers all surfaces of your teeth.


It is very cosmetic and comfortable to wear. It retains all of the teeth in their position and protects them from enamel wear.


It may not stand extreme occlusal forces. If you grind your teeth at night or clench them during the day you may break them.

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.


It is durable. Your orthodontist can adjust the wire and get some active tooth movement with it. 


It is not as cosmetic as other retainers. It will affect your speech. It is not the best type of retainer when it comes to retaining the back teeth. It requires frequent adjustment and if it is not done properly it will cause your teeth to shift.

Permanent Retainer

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


It is very cosmetic and permanently bonded to the back of the front teeth.

It is not the healthiest choice for the gums and surrounding tissues. It makes regular flossing almost impossible. If placed on the top teeth, it will interfere with the bite. It breaks too frequently during routine cleanings. Most of the time when it breaks, you won't know until you notice significant shifting of your teeth.

Retainer – Permanent Type