Congratulations! You have finally come to the end of the active phase of your orthodontic treatment (or maybe you are just tempting yourself with what is yet to come…). Whatever the case, here is a list of common Do’s and Don’ts that will help you to maintain your smile for life.


  • Wear your retainers full time, until Dr. Levin instructs otherwise. This generally means all the time, except for eating meals and brushing your teeth.
  • Remove retainers when swimming or playing contact sports. …But be sure to put them back in your mouth as soon as the game is over!
  • Clean your retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use room temperature (not hot) water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent or a similar orthodontic appliance cleaner (found in any drug store) can be used, but does not take the place of brushing.
  • ALWAYS put retainers in their case during meals. Most retainers are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.
  • Keep them away from your dogs! Pets love to chew on them.
  • Contact our office immediately if your retainers are lost or broken, so that we can arrange for their replacement.


  • Wrap your retainers in napkins!! See #2 above. That is, unless you want to be digging through the trash…
  • Expose your retainers to hot car dashboards or pockets. From the latter, they could find themselves in the washing machine (bad) or on a cold ski slope (true story).
  • Forget to bring your retainers to your appointments. A retainer check cannot be completed without a retainer!
  • Give up! Initially you might find talking with your retainers in to be difficult. And interestingly, adults usually have a longer adaptation period than their children. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Try to adjust your retainers yourself. If you have any questions about your retainers, or they are loose, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.