Retainer Instructions

Congratulations! Your big day has finally arrived and your braces have been removed. We know you are excited and proud of the effort you’ve put forth to achieve your new smile; but, your work is not finished. Your teeth must be retained, or held in their new positions until the bone, gums, tongue, and lips have adapted themselves to the new positions of your teeth. If you did not make an effort to retain the teeth following their orthodontic movement, they would tend to move back to their original positions.

You have been fitted with delicate plastic appliances called Retainers, which are custom-designed and constructed for each patient. Retainers must be relatively thin in order to have a minimal effect on speech, and so must be handled with care to avoid breakage. While your first set of retainers is included in your original fee, an additional charge will be made for lost or broken retainers or for replacing retainers that do not fit properly due to improper wear.

Essix Retainer

Hawley Retainer

Bonded Retainer

What to Expect:

✔ Your teeth may be uncomfortable for a couple of days.
✔ Speech may be affected for a short period of time while you adapt to wearing your retainers.


Invisalign: Full time for the first six months then nighttime wear for life. (Unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Song).

Braces: Full-time for the first week, then nighttime wear for life. (Unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Song).

  • Remove your retainers for eating, brushing, flossing, and for athletic activities which may jar your retainers out of your mouth.
  • While wearing the retainers, do not chew gum. It sticks to the plastic.
  • Keep your retainers clean by soaking them in 50/50 white vinegar and water then brush gently and rinse.  This is Dr. Song’s preferred method.
  • When not in your mouth, always place your retainers in their case. Never leave them lying around or wrapped in a tissue, they can be thrown away by accident.
  • Never place your retainers in hot water or near a hot surface, or leave them in your car on a hot day. The heat will warp the plastic causing them to not fit properly.
  • When traveling, always keep retainers in carry-on/personal items, NEVER in checked luggage
  • Replace retainers immediately if lost or broken before teeth start shifting.
  • Pets love to chew on retainers! Keep them out of their reach and in a safe space.
  • Bring your retainers to each appointment.

There will be a charge to replace or repair retainers.

Carriere Appliance Instructions:

  • For the next few days, you may feel some discomfort as your mouth is adjusting to your new Carriere appliance. You may take acetaminophen as needed if your teeth are sore.
  • Elastics are to be worn 20-22 hours per day. Remove elastics during meals and replace elastics 3 times per day.
  • The Clear retainer and elastics MUST be worn together. If you lose your clear retainer, stop elastic wear and call our office to get a replacement retainer.
  • If your Carriere becomes loose, please save it, stop elastic wear, and call our office to schedule an appointment to re-bond it.
  • With great elastic wear, you may get gaps between your teeth, this is normal.
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
We look forward to meeting you & seeing you smile!