Retainers keep your teeth or “retain” your teeth from sliding or shifting out of alignment after successful orthodontic treatment has made them straight. Retainers are made out of a combination of plastic and wire that is molded for a custom fit to the patient’s mouth. Retainers also allow for back teeth to make minor adjustments as they settle into their new positions.

In most cases, Dr. Keith Koch will ask a patient to wear a retainer full-time after treatment, and then nights after that. The instructions for retainer wear will vary according to the specific needs of the case. Teeth can stay straight for any given amount of time, and then a patient may start to notice a slight shift. The movement of teeth out of alignment is not predictable. Therefore, the best way to keep your new smile is to follow the retainer directions that Dr. Koch gives you.

Retainers often end up lost or broken, particularly in cases of school-aged children. Patients will have to try their best to develop good habits in keeping their retainers out of the cafeteria trash can. Younger students tend to wrap a retainer in a napkin while eating, and then throw it away after they are done eating. Even though it may sound strange, Dr. Koch will recommend that his patients wear their retainers while eating to prevent loss and save expense.


  1. Brush your retainers gently with toothpaste.
  2. Soak your retainer in denture cleaner or white vinegar to freshen.


  1. Dishwashers
  2. Boiling water
  3. Cleaning Chemicals