You are in charge of keeping your teeth straight!

Every one of our patients will have some type of retainer when they finish their active orthodontic treatment. Just as Dr. Henry moved your teeth to the straigher position, natural forces can shift your teeth in an undesirable way! That's why it is super-important to be diligent with your retainer wear. Dr. Henry tries to remind every patient that they are in charge of keeping their teeth straight by doing a faithful job wearing their retainer. When your teeth move due to poor compliance with your retainer (in some cases only a few days of not wearing your retainer), this leads to an added expense (and time in our office) to help re-align your teeth.

Retainer wear guidelines


  • Wear your retainer at all times except for eating and brushing your teeth, until Dr. Henry instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Retainers are small, sometimes clear, and easy to lose if you aren't careful.)
  • Clean the retainer thoroughly twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Never use hot water as it may distort your retainer. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
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