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Retainer Instructions


  • Wear your retainers full time and until a member of TeamMCO states otherwise. Usual wear is 24 hours for one to three months, then tapering down to nightly wear. We’ll be happy to check them at three months and nine months after you have completed your orthodontic care. You can email us to book these visits as needed.
  • Take your retainers out when you eat and brush, and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in lunchrooms, napkins, or restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush without toothpaste (toothpaste has an abrasive that will wear down the retainer). 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 take the place of brushing.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth, they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them and shoes seem to step on them.
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If they are lost or broken, call us immediately, because teeth can shift within a couple of days.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or they need adjusting, contact us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is necessary every one to two years, on average, with proper care.
  • If your fixed lingual retainer comes loose, do not cut it.  Get in touch with us immediately to have it rebonded to prevent relapse. There is a very different fee for glue replacement versus full retainer replacement.
  • Keep the model for your retainer so you can reorder one from how your teeth finished when the braces came off. This will also save you a model replacement charge.
  • Remove retainers when playing sports, but be sure to use a mouthguard.
  • Enjoy your new smile, but remember that this is the end of your braces, not your orthodontic treatment :).
  • To keep your teeth straight, you will eventually want to keep wearing the retainers at night indefinitely. Ask about our MCO Retainer Warranty Program to help maintain your smile with great savings! If for some reason, you have not worn your retainers and your teeth have shifted, we can get them straight again with our MCO Smile Promise. Those people you see walking around with straight teeth have a secret: They still wear their retainers EVERY night!

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