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Your smile and teeth look excellent after you are done with your braces or Invisalign. Your retainers will help to maintain them! Much like your nails and hair that constantly grow, your teeth move throughout your life but at a much slower pace. If they are left without proper retention, your teeth will tend to go back to their original place. 

If you ever happen to get tired of your beautiful smile, the solution is easy… stop wearing your retainers!   

General Care Instructions

  • Wear your retainer as instructed.
  • ​For the first few days, speaking might be different with the retainers on. 
  • To learn how to speak with them, talk more or read aloud. 
  • If you feel pressure on a few teeth while wearing the retainer that means those teeth have moved since the last time you had your retainer on. 
  • If your retainer is removable, take it out when you eat.
  • Keep your retainer in its case whenever it is not in your mouth. 
  • School lunchrooms or restaurants are the most common places to lose a retainer.
  • Keep it out of reach of your pets. They love to chew on them!
  • Retainers are breakable, so be careful with them if they are not in your mouth. 
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming, because It may slip out of the mouth.
  • If you misplace, break or lose your retainer, call us immediately.
  • Like your shoes, retainers wear out and need to be replaced once you see any signs of damage. 
  • The better you take care of your retainer, the longer it will last.
  • If you grind or clench your teeth at night or during the day, your retainer’s life will be shorter.
  • If you need to smooth any edges of your Retainer tray because it is not comfortable, you can do so with a nail file exactly like the video below.

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Cleaning instructions

  • If removable, clean it outside of your mouth.
  • Brushing will remove the plaque, and eliminate odors.
  • Brush it at least once a day. 
  • Use a soft brush and liquid soap. 
  • Do not use tooth paste to clean it. 
  • Micro scratches caused by toothpaste will discolor your retainer. 
  • Rinse it thoroughly with warm but not hot water. 
  • To remove the stains and keep them clear, once in a while, soak your retainers in Hydrogen Peroxide for a few hours. You can buy Hydrogen Peroxide from any pharmacy. 
  • Never put it in a dishwasher.
  • Never use any bleaching detergent.

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Below is a list of commonly used retainers:

Essix Retainer

It’s clear and removable, similar to a mouthpiece or bleaching tray but made of more resilient material. It covers all surfaces of your teeth.

1. Very cosmetic
2. Very comfortable
3. Retains all teeth in their position
4. Protects your teeth from enamel wear

1. It does not have the longest life span. 
2. It is not as durable againt occlusal force if you grind your teeth at night. 

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Hawley Retainer

It is removable. It consists of an acrylic part on the tongue side and wires on the lip side. 

1. Durable
2. The wire is adjustable
3. Orthodontist can create very minor tooth movement with it

1. Not cosmetic
2. Not the best at retaining the back teeth
3. Wires require adjustments frequently
4. If it is not adjusted, teeth will move
5. Covers the palate
6. The acrylic part is relatively thick
7. Affects your speech

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Permanent Retainer

It’s a piece of passive wire nicely adapted to your teeth and bonded directly to the tongue surface of them. 

1. Very Cosmetic
2. It’s permanently bonded to the teeth

1. Only retains the front teeth
2. Flossing is difficult
3. Not the healthiest for your gums
4. Interferes with the bite if placed on the upper teeth
5. Breaks too frequently during routine cleaning by your hygienist

AvA Orthodontics & Invisalign

We look forward to being a part of your wonderful, life-changing experience.

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