Your retainer is a very important part of overall treatment. Shifting teeth is a normal occurrence as you grow yet is not always desirable. Proper use of your retainer cannot stop this shifting but will minimize its progression and in turn help maintain the great results we have achieved. This is especially important since the true comprehensive stage of orthodontics is yet to come and the better you wear your retainer, the easier this final step will be. Bring your retainer to every visit and follow the below guidelines.


  • Wear your retainer every night until Dr. Papandreas says otherwise. You may occasionally skip a night, but NEVER drop below every other night wear.
  • Continue to wear the retainer the proper number of hours and fully into place regardless of loosening baby teeth and/or erupting adult teeth. If you discontinue or modify wear the retainer will no longer fit properly. Occasionally Dr. Papandreas may selectively remove plastic to accommodate loose baby teeth.
  • Be sure to firmly seat your retainer fully into position to ensure proper function.


  • Brush and floss at bedtime before inserting your retainers.
  • Firmly seat your trays fully into position to ensure proper function; gentle removal will minimize damage.
  • Continue to wear the trays every night to bed and fully into place regardless of loosening baby teeth and/or erupting adult teeth. If you discontinue or modify wear the trays will no longer fit properly.
  • Rinse in water each morning, store during the day in a cup of fresh clean water to prevent saliva drying on to them.
  • If you are not fully cleaning your teeth at night, you may need to occasionally brush your retainers with toothpaste and rinse to keep them clean.
  • Minor adjustments to rough edges may be made by carefully smoothing with a nail file.


  • Some shifting of teeth and/or opening of gaps is normal due to developing adult teeth elsewhere.
  • Sore teeth and gums increased salivary flow, difficulty speaking and swallowing, may all occur but will subside within the first week. If your braces were removed today, your gums may be inflamed from an inability to properly clean them during the braces. As a result they may be red and bleed easily. Good brushing and flossing this week should make this subside.
  • Residual gaps between teeth from your bands (silver rings) may persist after brace removal, good brushing and flossing will be particularly important in those areas.
  • You will not be able to bite all the way down with the retainer in place, this is normal. Do not try to bite all the way down or you will break, dislodge and/or wear down the retainer.
  • The retainer will initially loosen to fit like a comfortable slip on shoe. There is no need to retighten the retainer UNLESS the loosening is due to improper wear. The ability to flip the retainer out with your tongue is normal but don’t do this. The retainer will not function properly if not worn completely in place and there is a charge to replace it!
  • The purchase of a new retainer may occasionally be required due to eruption of adult teeth.

Congratulations on a great result…be sure to show off your smile and spread the good word about our office to family and friends!




Papandreas Orthodontics and the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a specialist evaluate every adult, and all children no later than the age of 7. Although treatment for kids rarely begins at age 7 the early detection of impending problems always leads to a simpler, less expensive future solution via proper timing. Dr. Papandreas provides the initial consultation with records and follow-up observations at no charge to all kids and adults. No referral is necessary for you or your child (you can also share this info with a friend); CLICK HERE to set a visit now. Do not hesitate pursuing this evaluation regardless of perception that ‘all is ok’, as many problems are not easily identifiable except by the Certified Orthodontic Specialist©.