You’ve finished your braces treatment! What’s next?


When you have completed your orthodontic treatment, you will enter the retention phase. This phase is important to maintaining your new and improved smile, and it involves wearing a retainer. Retainers are often worn for up to 5 years to ensure that your smile remains in its proper place and that you can enjoy the benefits of straight, properly aligned teeth for a lifetime.

Our orthodontists will instruct you to wear your retainer full-time for at least 6 weeks, only removing it when you are eating meals and drinking beverages other than water. After this period, you will only need to wear the retainer at night.

Retainers are plastic, and they are specially molded to fit your teeth and keep them in place. Be sure to take good care of your retainer so that it does not get lost or broken. Here are a few tips to help you care for your retainer:

  • Do not leave your retainer anywhere that your pet could get to it, especially if your pet is a dog.
  • Do not leave your retainer in a hot car – it could melt.
  • Do not wrap your retainer in a napkin or paper towel. Keep it in its case when not wearing it to avoid accidentally throwing it away.
  • Clean your retainer regularly using Dawn dish soap, toothpaste, or retainer cleaner. Do NOT put it in the dishwasher.
  • Do not use hot water when cleaning your retainer – use only cold or warm water.

If you have any other questions about retention, please feel free to contact Shehee & Callahan Family Orthodontics at 850-478-8844. Dr. Chad Callahan, and our team will be happy to provide you with additional information and help you schedule your appointment at one of our offices in Pensacola, Milton, Pace, or Navarre, Florida.