Removing braces signals the start of 12 months of supervised retention. Please remember that this part of your orthodontic treatment is just as important as the active movement in determining the ultimate success of your treatment. Once the teeth have been moved into their desired positions, a period of time is needed to stabilize them so that the surrounding bone and soft tissue can conform to your new dental alignment. When braces are removed, it is an excellent time to review several important aspects of care.

This 12-month phase, along with your initial retainers, is included in your original contract. Following the 12-month period, you will officially graduate from retainer supervision. Should you ever have any questions or need your retainers replaced, do not hesitate to contact our office. Visits due to lost or damaged retainers or after this 12-month window may incur an office visit fee. You are urged to continue to wear your retainers on a nightly basis to maintain your new smile.


Your teeth have a memory, and without retainers, they will move back to where they were before treatment. Your retainers are usually ready the day after braces come off, and it is essential that you pick them up on time. There are many different types of retainers and Drs. Hughes & Cozad will recommend the type that is best for you. They will also direct you on how much to wear your retainer. Typically, you will be asked to wear your retainer at night. Drs. Hughes & Cozad will see you for periodic retainer checks and guide you on the frequency of retainer wear that is prescribed.

Invisible Retainer

Traditional Retainer

Lower Fixed (Bonded) Retainer

Wear the retainer according to Drs. Hughes and Cozad’s instructions.

If your retainer breaks or stops fitting properly, do not throw it away or try to repair it yourself. Call the office for an appointment to have it checked.

If your retainer starts to fit loosely due to a change in eruptions or new dental work, please call us. You may need to have an adjustment made outside of your regular retainer checks.

Retainers can be ruined by heat. A retainer should never be placed in boiling water, run through a dishwasher, or left in a hot car.

Brush your retainers daily and wipe dry with a towel before storing them.

Plastic retainers can be damaged by soaking them in mouthwash.

Retainers are likely to be thrown away in the trash if they are wrapped in a tissue or napkin or placed on a food tray.

There is a charge to replace retainers, so be careful.

Keep retainers out of the reach of pets and young children. Dogs and cats like to chew on retainers.

Do not wear your retainer when eating or brushing.

If the retainer is not in your mouth, place it in the retainer case we gave, labeled with your name and phone number. Do not put the retainer in your shirt or pants pocket. It may end up in the washing machine or could be broken if sat on.

Vacations and summer camps will change your routine. These are high-risk periods for losing or not wearing retainers.