About Retainers

Why do I need Retainers?       

Invisalign Hand and mouthimages

Retainers are an important part of your overall treatment.  

After the removal of your braces, it takes about 6 weeks for your teeth to become stablized iin their new positions.  Retainers are used to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums and muscles adapt to their new tooth positions.  During this critical 6 week time period, it is important to wear your retainers as directed.  Usually this means full time wear.  After that,  you will be able to wear your retainers at night time only.  We will continue to see you a few times over the next year to make sure everything is looking good. 

In some cases, permanent retainers may be recommended.

Lingual bonded ret

In most instances, we recommend Clear Retainers (as shown) since they do not interfere with your corrected bite. Occasionally Dr. Merz will recommend permanent retainers which are bonded (glued) to the backs of the lower front 6 teeth. They consist of a very thin wire that does not show.  Permanent retainers are especially good for people who may otherwise forget to wear their removable retainers.  If you are wearing a bonded wire retainer behind your front teeth, be extra careful to clean the wire and the area around it.  Flossing should be done every day.  

How Long Do I Have to Wear My Retainers?

After the first 6 weeks of full time wear, it is recommended to continue night time wear pretty much indefinately.  The rule of thumb is to always wear your retiners at least one night per week to make sure they still are fitting. Some Retainer wear is required for as long as you want to maintain straignt teeth.

Teeth chang,e just like the rest of your body, throughout life even if you never wore braces.  Periodic retainer wear can allow you to avoid thlose changes.

Retainer do’s and dont’s

Handle your retainers with care. Keep them in your mouth…do not put them in your pocket where they can break. Retainers are easy to lose. If you take your retainers out, always place them in your retainer case for safety and definately do not wrap them in a napkin.  Most retainers wrapped in a napkin end up in the dumpster.. 

Keep your retainers away from dogs or cats as they love to chew on them.  Avoid storing them near any source of heat such as in a hot car. 

How do I Keep My Retainers Clean?    

Clean your retainer by brushing them daily with any detergent soap such as hand or dish soap, not toothpaste which can scratch them.  If a build up occurs, soak them in “Retainer Bright”.  You could also try soaking them briefly in vinegar.  Always brush them again with soap and water.  Rinse well.  Do not soak in mouthwash.  This can cause cloudyness. 


Torrey Pines Orthodontics

Address: 12264 El Camino Real, Suite 109, San Diego, CA 92130 
Phone: (858) 755-9990

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