(818) 980-5300 5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village, CA   91607

Tips About Dental Retainers

Once you’ve gone to the time and expense of having orthodontic treatment, the last thing you want to do is have it all for nothing! That’s why you should follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing your retainers, which are used to prevent your teeth from moving back to their previous positions after your orthodontic appliances have been removed.

What are retainers?
Retainers hold our teeth in place while they settle into their ultimate position. Most patients are required to wear both upper and lower retainers. Upper retainers are made of hard plastic and wire, fit into the roof of your mouth, and are removable. Lower retainers consist of wire, and may be removable or glued permanently to the lower teeth.

How much should I wear them?
Retainers are usually worn full time for the first several months, except while eating. Eventually you will only wear the retainer while sleeping, and often you’ll complete wearing your retainer within one year if you stick to your orthodontist’s recommendations.

How do I care for my retainer?
Retainers fit directly against your teeth, so a clean retainer helps with clean teeth and better breath. When you brush your teeth, you should also brush your retainer. Rinse it with water and then replace it into your mouth. Once it’s in place, try not to flip the device with your tongue because that often leads to a broken retainer.

What if I take my retainer out?
Except during cleaning, the best place for your retainer is in your mouth. It’s usually a hassle to get them replaced, so it’s important to take care of your retainers. Follow these tips:

• Don’t wrap your retainers in a napkin, because they can be easily thrown away.
• Don’t put your retainers in your pocket or loose in your purse, because they may be broken.
• Don’t leave your retainers sitting around for children or pets to access.

Orthodontist for fixing retainers in Sherman Oaks CA

Retainers: Made Just for You

Most people who have worn braces must wear a retainer after the braces are removed, and sometimes retainers are used to close gaps in teeth, help with speech issues, or solve medical problems. These custom-made pieces of plastic and metal fit into the top of your mouth and teeth. No two retainers are identical, because they fit only the one patient’s mouth they are made to fit.

Why do I need to wear one?
The most common purpose of retainers is to help your teeth stay in their new positions after braces. The retainer minimizes the natural shifting of your teeth. Sometimes braces aren’t necessary and retainers can do the job alone, such as moving only one tooth or closing a small space. In addition to shifting teeth, retainers can help problems like tongue thrusting, TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and teeth grinding.

What does wearing a retainer feel like?
Your orthodontist will customize your retainer to fit only you. It may feel strange at first, but you’ll get used to it in a short time. Certain teeth might feel slight pressure and be sore a few days, but this is normal and will go away. See your orthodontist if you experience lingering pain or rubbing against your gums. You may need to adjust to speaking with your retainer in your mouth, and it’s normal to have an increased saliva flow at first.

How do I take care of it?
The most important thing is not to lose your retainer. It is one of the most commonly lost or misplaced items people own! Try to keep it in the same place when you’re not wearing it. Also, ask your orthodontist about soaking your retainer when not wearing it to protect the plastic from drying and cracking. Don’t put it near anything too hot because it can warp, and avoid bending the wires. Since your retainer is in your mouth along with bacteria and plaque, ask your orthodontist for tips on how to best clean it every day.

Orthodontist in Sherman Oaks CA

Mehdi Fotovat, D.D.S.


5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Valley Village, CA 91607

(818) 980-5300

Our practice is conveniently located on Laurel Canyon Blvd. between Burbank Blvd. and Chandler Blvd. in Valley Village. Free parking is available behind the building.

Our Hours

Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:20)

Wednesday: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:30)

Thursday: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-12:30)