Retainers After Braces

Retainers After Braces – Keeping Your Favorite Smile

West Des Moines, Iowa’s Favorite Orthodontist

West Des Moines, Iowa’s Favorite Orthodontist

Getting the Braces Off

Retainers After BracesThere will come a day where you will hear “You’re getting your braces off today.” Don’t worry, this won’t hurt, and once you get your braces off, you will be very excited to share your new Stork Smile. To keep that fabulous smile, though, it will require wearing a retainer to keep your teeth in their new positions. It is incredibly important to keep up with your retainer schedule, whether it is wearing it day and night, only night, or a few nights per week. Without a retainer, your teeth will always move and shift. If you don’t follow your retainer schedule, you risk needing braces a second time!

Retainer Wear: Stage One

Stage One Retainer After Braces When you initially get your retainer, you will need to wear it day and night. The frequency of wear will also require frequent cleaning of the retainer (every time you take it out for a meal), along with the occasional soak in a cleanser solution. Keeping your retainer clean is as imperative as keeping your teeth clean. Dirty retainers can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Additionally, you’ll have to get used to remembering you have it! You will take it out to eat and remember to not throw it away with your lunch trash! Additionally, if you have pets, they may decide to use it as a chew toy, so make sure you keep it in the container when you aren’t wearing it and keep it out of reach of pets. Finally, be sure to not leave it in a car on a warm day. The inside of the car will be much warmer than the temperature outside, and the heat can warp the plastic molding. Your mouth doesn’t get much warmer than 98 degrees, but your car can reach up to 120 degrees in mere minutes!

To help form the habit of keeping track of your retainer, ask Dr. Stork or your treatment coordinator for a retainer case to practice keeping it with you. This way, by the time you get your retainer, you’ll always know where the case is!

Retainer Wear: Stage Two

Stage Two Retainer After BracesOnce Dr. Stork is satisfied with your teeth retaining their positions, you will be able to reduce the wear of your retainer from every day and night, to simply night-wear only. This will be easier as you won’t need to clean and soak it as often and will only need to keep it in the same place every morning after you clean it. The length of time you will need to wear your retainer before reaching stage two will vary from mouth to mouth. Some teeth retain their positions well with disciplined retainer wear, and can rely on nightly wear after only 3 months! Most mouths, however, need consistent retaining for up to 6 months. Dr. Stork and your treatment coordinator will be able to establish and expected timeline for your retainer schedule.

Retainer Wear: Stage Three and Beyond

Stage Three Retainer After Braces

Eventually, you will be able to wear your retainer only a few nights per week. However, you will need to do this on a permanent basis to retain your lovely Stork Smile! Additionally, if your retainer gets lost or damaged, you will want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stork to have it replaced or repaired. All retainer appointments within the first year are included with your treatment package!


Tips for Retainer Success

Tips For Retainer After Braces SuccessTo keep your new Stork Smile, it is essential to follow the tips below. If you read nothing else about retainer suggestions, READ AND FOLLOW THESE TIPS:

  • Follow your retainer schedule faithfully.
  • Brush your retainer as you do your teeth every time you take it out.
  • Soak your retainer at least twice a week in a denture cleanser solution.
  • Keep retainers away from areas that exceed 110 degrees.
  • Keep out of reach of family pets.
  • Keep track of your retainer to avoid replacement costs.



Dr. Stork understands the importance of a smile you can share with confidence. Additionally, he wants you to feel confident with your decision for your journey to your best smile ever. Here are a few ways to get started: