Retainer Instructions & Care

Congrats On Completing Your Orthodontic Journey!

You’ve worked hard to achieve your goal of a beautiful, healthy smile!

Thank you for choosing Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics to share in this exciting time in your life. However, your job isn’t quite over yet.

Retainer Responsibilities

The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind.


Removable Retainers

Once your active orthodontic appliances are removed, you will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction.

The bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilized for several months after braces are removed. You must wear your retainers as Dr. Pedersen instructs.

Failure to wear the retainers may result in an undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.

How to Wear Retainers

Because your teeth can continue to move throughout your life whether or not they have been moved with orthodontics, the general consensus is people who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers forever.

A patient should wear retainers all the time for six months following the removal of their braces.

After approximately six months, the patient can then wear the retainer at night only. Dr. Pedersen will see you periodically to monitor the retention of your orthodontic results.

How to Care for Retainers

  • Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat. They should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
  • Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
  • Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.
  • Clean before and after placing in your mouth.
  • Since the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces.
  • Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque.
  • A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar.
  • Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.

Replacing Retainers

Since retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed.

If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.

Dental Examinations and Cleanings

Please continue proper oral hygiene procedures at home, including thorough brushing and flossing. You should see your York-area dentist at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.

Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention

These conditions or habits may necessitate re-treatment:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
  • Tongue thrusting, low or abnormal tongue posture
  • Playing a musical instrument with a reed
  • Lip sucking
  • Pen or pencil biting

Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is crucial to achieve this goal, and we’re happy to help you.