Your Retainer

When your braces have been removed we will give you a retainer to keep your teeth straight. After your first post-treatment check-up, we will only need to see you every six months. If you have any difficulty with your retainer, please call us and we will see you as soon as possible.

What to do?

There are two reasons that we give all of our patients retainers. The first reason is that the teeth are held in the bone by ligaments that are elastic and have “memory”. The teeth remember their original crooked positions and want to go back to that position. This is called relapse.

The second reason is that we all get older and as we age, the teeth tend to shift. This happens to most people regardless of whether they have ever had braces or not. Retainers are not a guarantee that your teeth will never move. Remember, we all age, even your teeth. Orthodontic treatment can straighten the teeth but we cannot prevent you from aging.

However, the retainer will keep the teeth as straight as possible and help minimize both the orthodontic relapse as well as the aging changes. Leaving the retainers out for even a short period of time can allow the teeth to shift, even years after the braces are removed.

Please call our office right away if you have any problem.

Please remember that this is the most important part of your whole treatment. We can straighten your teeth but only you can make sure that they stay straight!

Removable Retainer


At first, the retainer must be worn all the time, day and night, and especially while eating. It should be removed only to clean it and to brush your teeth. Eventually you will need to wear the retainer only at night.

It may affect your speech and make eating difficult for the first couple of days as you adjust to it. Be patient.

Retainers are not lost if they are in your mouth. If you lose your retainer there is a charge for a new one. If it is broken and cannot be repaired in the office, there will be a charge for a lab repair.
To clean it, use liquid dishwashing soap and a toothbrush, which you use only for your retainer. Heating your retainer in any way will cause it to become distorted.

Clear Retainer

Clear Retainer

This custom-made removable appliance is an important part of your orthodontic treatment.

The unique design of this type of retainer allows you the freedom to wear it only when you are sleeping – every night. Please keep it in your retainer case during the day. This will prevent it from getting lost or broken.

To clean it, use liquid dishwashing soap and a toothbrush, which you use only for your retainer. Heating your retainer in any way will cause it to become distorted.

If you lose or break your retainer, please call us right away. Unfortunately, there will be a replacement fee to cover the lab and material costs.

These clear retainers don’t last forever. They will need to be replaced from time to time when they get worn out.

Bonded Retainer


Your retainer has been bonded to your teeth with the same adhesive that was used for your brackets. Therefore, just as with your brackets, be careful when biting into hard, sticky foods. Please give us a telephone call right away if your wire becomes loose.

To reduce calculus build-up, use dental floss and floss threaders. We’ll make sure that you know how to do this properly. Your dentist and hygienist will also reinforce this.

A number of scientific studies have demonstrated a link between severe gum disease and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Good oral hygiene, including proper brushing and flossing, are therefore an important part of overall health.

If your bonded wire becomes loose or comes out, please call us right away so that we can rebond it. Do not throw the wire away. If the wire still fits properly, we can re-bond it. Unfortunately, there will be a repair fee to cover the cost of materials. If the wire needs to be replaced, there will also be a lab fee.

If the wire is bonded only at the ends, the teeth in between can move a little bit. This is usually not a functional or aesthetic problem. However, if you notice any movement, please call the office so that Dr. Weiss, can check it as soon as possible. If all the teeth are bonded to the wire, then they won’t move, but it may be difficult to detect if one of the glue pads has come loose. Either way, it’s important to be aware of the position of your teeth even after your treatment is over.

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