Retainer Care: What To Expect After Braces

On the day you get your braces removed by our orthodontist in Melbourne, FL, you’ll be excited and happy to not have to be as careful in choosing what you eat. However, getting your braces off is not the end of the treatment. In order to ensure that your teeth remain in their new positions and do not start to shift, you’ll need to wear retainers. As the name implies, a retainer retains the current position of your teeth so that you can maintain your new, straight smile.

Getting Your Braces Off

On the day you get your braces off, you will be brought back to the treatment room, where we will remove brackets along with the wires. Then, Dr. Reddick will carefully remove any residual adhesive from your teeth. If you feel any adhesive or bonding material on your teeth after the braces have been removed, let us know so we can remove it. Excess bits of adhesive or bonding material can feel rough or uncomfortable. Once all your brackets are off, we’ll take some final records including photographs and x-rays. You will feel changes in your mouth after braces.

Getting Fitted for a New Retainer

On the day your braces are removed, your teeth are considered straight and in their proper positions, but they may not stay that way if you simply leave our office after your braces are removed. This is because your jaw and the structures supporting your teeth are not accustomed to your new teeth positions. Instead of holding your teeth in place, these supporting structures may try to pull your teeth back into their original positions. To stop this progression and help you maintain your straight smile, you’ll need to wear a retainer.

We feel removable retainers are best for most patients.  These are created from either digital scans or impressions of your teeth. With these, models of your mouth can be created, and retainers can be fabricated that are custom fit for your mouth. We like to have the retainers fabricated prior to you getting your braces off so there is no time for your teeth to move.

Your Retainer Wear Schedule

Whether you had traditional braces or Invisalign, we recommend you wear your retainers close to full time for the first six months. You can certainly remove them to eat, brush your teeth, and special occasions of course. You’ll also need to clean and sanitize them at least once per day. Any time you are not wearing your retainers, you’ll need to store them in their case. Never leave a retainer in excessively hot areas or in your car. It is possible for extremely hot temperatures to warp your retainers.

Usually, after the first six months, your retainers will only need to be worn at night. Periodic checkups with our orthodontist will help determine how well your teeth are retaining their positions and whether you need to increase or decrease your retainer wear. Without proper retainer wear, shifting of teeth can be expected.  If there is a relapse, it can sometimes require retreatment, but this can often be accomplished with Invisalign clear aligners rather than with another set of metal or ceramic braces. It is best to be diligent about retainer wear so that retreatment is never needed, however.

To learn more about how braces can help you improve your smile and your oral hygiene, contact us online to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist in Melbourne, FL, or give us a call at 321-254-5232 today.


We have missed seeing everyone!  We are finally able to go back to work and look forward to seeing all of our patients and their families.  We are in the process of calling everyone who has missed an appointment during our forced office closure to reschedule and get back on track.  We will be working overtime in the coming months to do what we can to help. Unfortunately, our time out of work will delay treatment completion for many and for that we are truly sorry.  Most importantly, we hope this message finds everyone happy and healthy.

The health and safety of our patients, their families, and the community remain our primary focus.  We are taking as many precautions as possible for prevention of spreading COVID-19.  We will remain vigilant with our sterilization and disinfection protocols and we will  be taking additional precautionary measures as well.   If the patient or an immediate family member has been sick in the past two weeks, we ask that you please call us to reschedule the appointment to a later date as a precaution.

To limit the traffic in our building, we will be adjusting to a “parking lot waiting area”.  We will have a staff member come out to each vehicle to greet you and check the patient in.  Please call the office if you are not promptly greeted.  There are some types of appointments that require a parent’s participation, so we ask that anyone accompanying the patient into the office wear a mask or face covering.  We can provide masks if necessary. 

We will only be utilizing half of our operatories to maintain significant distance between patients.  We ask that all of our patients please thoroughly brush their teeth prior to their appointments to limit use of our toothbrushing area.  We have also installed plexiglass barriers between our front desk and the waiting area.  As always, we will continue to be committed to giving each of our patients the best experience possible!

Thank you for your understanding!

The Reddick Orthodontics Team