Retainer Instructions


  • Wear your Essix retainer every night to bed until you are directed otherwise.
  • If you have a Hawley retainer or Aligners take it out when eating or drinking anything besides water. Always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a soft toothbrush and some kind of liquid handsoap. Use cool to lukewarm water but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. 
  • If you are sick, soak your retainer in Listerine mouthwash for 20 minutes to disinfect it. Never boil it.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • 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, broken or you can't wear it for any reason call us as soon as you can.
  • 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, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.