It’s really up to you, If your retainers are to do their important job, you must do three things: 1. Wear Them As Directed Retainers are effective only if you faithfully follow your orthodon-tist’s instructions for wearing them. And they’re doing their jobs only when they’re in your mouth, not in your pocket or purse. Remember: wearing that retainer after your braces are removed is the best way to preserve that healthy, beautiful smile you worked so hard to get. 2. Keep Them Clean If you’ve been fitted with a removable retainer, it’s easy to clean when you take it out. Your orthodontist will show you how.If your retainer is attached to your teeth, it’s important to brush thoroughly after meals and clean under the wire with dental floss at least once a day. Your orthodontist will teach you how to care for your fixed retainer. If you can’t brush after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your mouth out with water until you have a chance to brush thoroughly.Whether your retainer is removable or fixed, make sure you see your dentist for a thorough cleaning every six months (or more often, if recommended). 3. Handle Them With Care Remember: whenever your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in its case for safety. Retainers are easier to lose than you think, and they’re expensive to replace. They fall out of pockets and purses. If you take your retainer out to eat and wrap it in a napkin, you may accidentally throw it away. When they’re just lying around, retainers have a way of falling on the floor and being stepped on, or even being picked up by pets.If you’re instructed to wear your retainer for only a part of the day, keep it in its case when it’s not being worn, so it won’t be damaged or lost.