Retainer Instructions

Congratulations, you have reached a milestone in your orthodontic treatment. Our patients begin the retention period of their orthodontic care when braces are removed. This phase is both exciting and extremely important.  The soft tissues, surrounding bone, the tongue and lips must adapt to the new dental alignment. Up to this point it has been a team effort, but now the retention phase is up to “YOU.” Please wear your retainers just as Dr. Hancock and his staff have instructed 


Wear your retainers a minimum of 12 hour. After some time, Dr Hancock may approve you to switch to only night wear.


To keep your retainers clean, brush them with a toothbrush and baking soda each time you brush. For special care or if you have been sick you can soak the retainer in vinegar to loosen build-up and lightly brush with a tooth brush. Store the retainer dry in the protective case provided.


Keep retainers away from all animals-dogs, cats, etc. Animals like to eat retainers.

Protective Case

A protective case is provided for you. Always keep retainers in its protective case when it’s not in your mouth. Never wrap retainers in a napkin. You will forget about them and they are easily mistaken for trash and thrown away. Also never put your appliance in a pocket or your backpack where it may be bent, or even crushed. They are costly to replace. The safest place for your retainer is in your mouth. Your case can be cleaned with soap and water to keep it fresh and clean.

Avoid Heat

The appliance will melt or warp if it gets hot. Never leave it in a hot car or leave it by a stove or other heater. NEVER put it in boiling water or the dishwasher.


Remember, you will have extra saliva for the first few days, this is normal. Initially, your mouth doesn’t realize that this retainer is not a piece of food. This sensation will go away after approximately 3 days. It is also not unusual that a plastic taste may be noticed and sore spots may appear. If any of these persist please contact the office.


Your speech will be somewhat slurred at first. It will be back to normal within a week if you are wearing your retainers full time. Try reading aloud and talking slower. The most important thing to remember is to keep wearing the retainers as instructed.

Loss or Breakage

If the retainers are lost, broken, or irritating your mouth, please contact the office right away. There is a fee for lost or broken retainers.


Your retainers should feel snug if you are wearing them properly. They don’t change in size, but your teeth can shift. Please wear your retainer as prescribed by the doctor to prevent shifting..

Follow-up Visits

Please bring your retainers with you to every appointment. We need to check their fit and sometimes adjust them.