4116 Von Talge, Suite A

St. Louis, MO


​​​​1119 W. Gannon Dr.

Festus, MO


Stephen G. Nikodem, D.D.S., M.S.

​Family Orthodontic Care

Life after braces: Retainers

After your braces come off, or you are finished with your Invisalign treatment, your teeth are vulnerable to shifting. Teeth need to be held in their new, straight positions while the bone surrounding the teeth "firms up".  This is done by the use of retainers. Our office recommends that retainers are worn for a minimum of 20 hours per day for the first year. After one year, the amount of time retainers are worn can usually be reduced to at night only. Indefinite use of retainers is recommended, due to the normal aging process which can cause shifting of the teeth.

Remove retainers during:



Playing contact sports

Brushing and flossing teeth

When retainers are not in the mouth, always store them in the durable containers our office provides you with. This will protect them from any damage. This also keeps them from being lost; Most retainers are lost in lunchrooms and restaurants. Keep your retainers out of the reach of pets, they love to use them as chew toys!

Cleaning retainers:

​Retainers should be cleaned at least once a day. This can be done by brushing retainers with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Mild hand soap can also be used in place of toothpaste. Retainer cleaning tablets or denture cleaning tablets can be used in addition to brushing them.