Retainer Instructions


  • Wear your retainer as Dr. Boutin instructs.  Full time wear is defined as wearing a retainer for 18 to 21 hours per day, removing it for eating, brushing and when you are doing heavy duty sports (where the appliance might fall out and get stepped on or otherwise broken or lost).  Retainers that fall out of your mouth into a pool or other body of water are next to impossible to find - just ask Dr. Boutin, he had to go diving for one once when his eldest son dropped his into a lake!).
  • Take your retainer out when eating, and when brushing your teeth, and remember to always put it back in its case! (Many orthodontic appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants because they are put into a napkin and then thrown out with the napkin.)
  • Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but THEY DO NOT not take the place of brushing.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!  We replace as many retainers that were destroyed by pets as ones that are lost in restaurants!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us right away so we can schedule visits to get you a new one !  If we gave you a plaster model of your straightened teeth that we used to make your retainer, please bring this with you.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • ALWAYS bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water.  Do not boil them or put them through the dishwasher or the washing machine - the plastic will melt/distort !  Do not leave your retainer on hot car dashboards either.  Retainers break when you put them in your pockets or in pouches in heavy backpacks: you drop the backpack and you hear a crack - not good!  Be especially careful not to wrap them up in napkins in cafeterias or restaurants - someone will throw that napkin into the garbage and you will have to go looking through the trash for your retainers !