Retainer Instructions


The active phase of your orthodontic treatment is considered complete when all of your teeth have been moved into their ideal positions and your bite pattern is functionally sound. Once you have worked hard to achieve the healthy smile that you desire, you’ll need to make a firm commitment to keeping it that way – you’ll need to wear a retainer.

We will provide you with a custom-fitted appliance that will work to maintain the position of your teeth for the rest of your life. However, it will only be effective if it is worn as directed and cared for properly.


Here’s What You Should Know about Retainers

  • Your retainer should be worn at all times, unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Fleming.
  • Remove the retainer when eating, but remember to store it in the case! Don’t risk losing your retainer in the lunchroom or a restaurant.
  • Your retainer must be cleaned thoroughly each day with cool water. Brush it to remove plaque and odors. For added freshness, follow up with Efferdent® or a similar orthodontic appliance cleaner.
  • ALWAYS store your retainer in its case when it isn’t in your mouth. Pets are known to chew on misplaced retainers!
  • If speaking is difficult at first, practice speaking out loud, reading, or singing until you feel more comfortable.
  • Handle your retainer with care to prevent accidental damage. If the retainer is ever lost or damaged, please contact our office immediately.
  • Don’t try to ‘do it yourself.’ If your retainer needs to be adjusted, or of you have other concerns, just give us a call.
  • Remember to bring your retainer to every appointment. We’ll need to check it for proper fit and performance.
  • With proper care, your retainer can last for years. Avoid purchasing a costly replacement by treating it with care.
  • Remember to take your retainer out whenever you go swimming.
  • Retainers are heat sensitive and can be damaged if you aren’t careful. Keep them away from hot water, the washing machine, the dashboard of a hot car, your pockets, and never crumple it inside of a napkin.

Retention is Essential

A retainer is the only way to prevent your teeth from shifting and drifting. If you have additional questions about using this appliance, please contact us today.

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