Regardless of completed orthodontics and retainers your teeth will continue to shift. This is a normal occurrence forever and hence retainers are forever! Your retainers dramatically slow this process but can never completely stop it. Expect this shifting and even spaces appearing as time goes by especially in the presence of small teeth, a tight bite, clenching, grinding, and more. Proper use of your retainers is critical to slow these events dramatically down. Your retainers are custom designed with specific force applications to counter shifting and normal aging. Dr. Papandreas will continue to custom design your retainers for life. Please do not purchase retainers over the counter, from your dentist, or from the grocery store if you wish to maintain the best final possible results we have achieved.


  • Wear each retainer 6 months straight when sleeping then automatically progress to the next one. For example, if you have 6 trays and use them properly they should last you 3 years before you need to purchase new ones.
  • If your tray becomes compromised prior to the 6-month mark (worn thin, pin holes, tears), then pull the next tray out in your series and begin wearing it. As you know this shortens the 3-year series life span noted above.
  • Be sure to bring your trays at each and every visit to our office!


  • Thoroughly brush and floss every night at bedtime prior to inserting our retainers.
  • Firmly seat your trays fully into position to ensure proper function; gentle removal will minimize damage.
  • The trays will not function properly if not worn completely in place!
  • In the morning rinse the retainers in water then keep them in a clean glass of water during the day.
  • If you are not thoroughly cleaning teeth prior to inserting retainersm they will get dirty! You may occasionally brush them with toothpaste but this ideally should be rarely necessary.
  • You can smooth rough edges with a nail file.


  • You will not be able to bite all the way down with the trays in place, this is normal, if you try you will dislodge them or eventually break them.
  • Ideally restorations of teeth should occur no sooner than 6 months from removal of the braces since more shifting of teeth occurs during this time. Be aware that new fillings will likely mean the immediate need for new retainers.
  • The lifespan of your each tray is no more than 6 months. Do not wait until your last retainer is destroyed to call our office for replacements, this can result in additional replacement costs beyond the norm.
  • Like shoes your trays wear down and need to be periodically replaced. All your custom shoes now come from Dr. Papandreas…hence we are friends for life!
  • Please note there is a charge to replace retainers and repair any associated buttons or bars.

After your final regularly scheduled visit you will monitor the trays and call immediately with any questions and certainly as you approach your final retainer to order new ones.



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©.