Rice Orthodontics

Changing Smiles for Life

Retainer Instructions

retainer instructions


Maintaining your beautiful smiles for a lifetime

A custom retention plan will be designed to meet your unique situation. Normally, clear plastic esthetic retainers (E-tainers) are worn after braces are removed to ensure you retain your beautiful smile! To increase the long term stability of your smile, we ask you to wear your new retainers full time for 3 months to allow the dental bone surrounding the teeth to re-harden to its’ original strength as before braces. Then retainers are worn night time only to keep the teeth aligned, prevent night time tooth wear, and protect your TMJ joints from the effects of night time clenching. Sometimes fixed retainers are needed for clinical reasons at no additional cost. Rarely parents or patients request unnecessary fixed retainers which can be placed for an additional fee.

  • Wear your retainers full time, until Dr. Rice instructs otherwise
  • Take your retainers out when eating and always put retainers in their case! (Most retainers are lost in the school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers thoroughly with a toothbrush every time you brush your teeth. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes plaque and eliminates odor. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing retainers.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them especially dogs!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Remove retainers when swimming
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, POCKETS, the washing machine, and napkins
  • Retainer replacement is expensive and with proper care they should last for years! 

Original treatment fees include the cost of the retainers and retainer checks until the patient graduates to “as needed”. All retainers whether lost, broken (due to abuse such as putting retainers in your pocket), or chewed on by your pets are subject to our standard retainer fee at that time. Retainers that crack due to material failure before 24 months will be replaced at No Charge. Retainers with proper care should last for years! If your retainer cracks, please call our office as soon as possible so we can ensure you maintain your smile.

Two retainer office visits are normally needed to ensure you are ideally maintaining your smile. Thereafter, retainer visits are initiated by the patient on an “as needed” basis if a problem is suspected to prevent you from having unnecessary retainer checks and office visits.

Wisdom teeth development will be evaluated before and after your braces. After braces if the wisdom teeth are still present and need to be extracted, we will refer you to an Oral Surgeon or have your dentist follow the wisdom teeth until their development is ideal for removal.

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