Orthodontic Retention

Retainers are an essential part of orthodontic treatment. Now begins the important job of keeping your teeth and jaws in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened and your jaws have developed. Retainers are the key!

At WingHaven® Orthodontics, the first set of upper and lower retainers are included as part of your orthodontic treatment. We offer clear, durable retainers that are nearly invisible to the naked eye, need only be worn ten to 12 hours per day, and do not significantly affect speech.

Traditional Hawley retainers are also available and best suited for a select number of patients who have unique orthodontic needs. In addition, should you wish to purchase a second set of retainers as a backup, please ask Dr. Held for details.

As with most things in life, retainers need to be replaced periodically. For patients interested in a longterm, economical solution to retainer replacement, Dr. Held recommends the Vivera® Retainers Program through Align Technology, Inc., the makers of Invisalign®.

The Vivera Retainers Program involves an annual renewal of quarterly replacement clear retainers, so that when they start to wear out, you can have a replacement set ready to go!

Dr. Held will instruct you on how to care for your retainers and frequency of wear. Using your retainers as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment (i.e., undesirable shifting of your teeth and jaws).

Retainer Care Guidelines

  • Wear your retainers ten to 12 hours per day, until we instruct you otherwise.
  • Follow our instructions very carefully regarding removal and insertion of your retainers to avoid damaging them. Never use your tongue or teeth to remove or insert your retainers, because doing so will weaken them over time and cause them to break.
  • Initially, you may find your speech changes just a little bit with retainers in place. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster. Focus on repeating any altered sounds. With practice, your speech will return to normal.
  • Remove your retainers when eating or drinking anything other than water, brushing, and flossing.
  • Remove your retainers during physical activity, including active sports, PE, and swimming.
  • Remove your retainers when playing a musical instrument with your mouth.
  • ALWAYS put your retainers in the retainer case when they are not in your mouth or being cleaned!
  • Avoid wrapping your retainers in a paper towel or napkin, because they can easily be thrown away.
  • Keep your retainers away from dogs, since they like to chew on retainers.
  • Keep your retainers out of your pockets.
  • Do not put your retainers in hot boiling water, a dishwasher, or a washing machine to sterilize them. Also, avoid leaving retainers in a hot car, on top of a TV, or on a stove. Hot environments will warp them.
  • Brush your retainers thoroughly before and after wear with soap and water or baking soda, using the special retainer brush we provide to you. Use cool water, never hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors.
  • Use Retainer Brite® for additional cleaning, if you prefer. You can purchase additional Retainer Brite® at Please remember that Retainer Brite does not take the place of brushing your retainers.
  • Do not put your retainers in mouthwash. Leaving your them in mouthwash too long can damage your retainers and may lead to the need to replace them.
  • If your retainers are loose or causing discomfort, they will need to be adjusted. Please call Dr. Held to schedule an appointment for an adjustment. Do not attempt to adjust your retainers yourself.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If yours get lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • Always bring your retainers to your orthodontic appointments.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, please call us. We are happy to help you in any way we can!

Retainer replacement can be expensive ... but with proper care, your retainers will last for years!

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