At-Home Instructions for Retainers/Night Guards

New removable appliances always require a period of adjustment. First-time removable appliance patients may require several weeks to get used to their new appliance.

You should wear your appliance overnight for 6-8 hours every day.

Cleaning your Appliance:

Proper cleaning of your removable appliance is important to prevent stains and bacteria from accumulating on your appliance, making it smell or taste bad which can lead to gum infection and the risk of tooth decay. Thoroughly brush your teeth, gums and appliance in the morning and before bed at night – using a soft toothbrush.

  • Do not use toothpaste, as it is abrasive and can damage your appliance.
  • Do not use hot water to clean or soak your appliance as it will warp and no longer fit.
  • Soaking your appliance in an equal mix of white vinegar and water for around 15-20 minutes every 2-4 weeks as needed will reduce any retained bacteria.

Fit of your Appliance:

If after 7-10 days of wear your retainer or night guard is causing tooth sensitivity or tissue inflammation, you may need an adjustment. Please call our office to schedule an appointment.

If you find your retainer or night guard becomes tight or is not sitting up around your teeth properly – it generally is a sign you have not been wearing it enough. Contact our practice ASAP for a review to prevent the teeth from moving.

Please Note:

The lifetime of most orthodontic appliances and night guards is 3-5 years. After this time, it is likely they will need replacement.
Please remember to bring your appliance to check-ups to ensure proper fit.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (952) 956-6700.