Beautiful Smiles That Last a Lifetime

You’ll never forget the day your beautiful new smile is revealed! The day you get your braces taken off, or you wear your Invisalign® aligners for the last time, is the day your retention phase begins.

If you love your results and want to maintain them for years to come, it’s essential that you wear your retainer after braces or Invisalign. 

At your last visit to our Richmond office, Dr. Scarborough or Dr. Loflin will tell you everything you need to know about proper retainer wear and care to ensure the best possible results from treatment.

What does a retainer do?

Retainers are used once your teeth have reached their ideal position, at the end of your Invisalign or braces treatment, to keep your teeth from reverting back to their pre-treatment position. This tendency to revert is called “orthodontic relapse”.

During the first few months of your retention stage, your teeth are at an increased risk of relapsing. For the entirety of your orthodontic treatment, your teeth had the consistent support of your braces or clear aligners. Once that support is gone, your teeth have a tendency to shift out of place.

Your retainer prevents this tendency to shift, supporting your smile in maintaining its healthy, beautiful alignment.

Types of Retainers

There are two main types of retainerspermanent retainers and removable retainers.

Fixed or Permanent Retainers

A permanent retainer, or fixed retainer, is permanently cemented to the teeth. These retainers include a small metal wire, custom-designed to fit behind the teeth. Fixed retainers are typically bonded to the back surface of the bottom teeth, but they can also be attached behind the top teeth, depending on your condition.

For patients who previously had gaps between their upper teeth, a permanent retainer may be bonded behind the teeth to hold them together. 

Fixed retainers can remain in place for a lifetime to ensure that the teeth remain in their intended alignment.

Removable Retainers

A removable retainer can be placed in the mouth and taken out as needed. We provide Hawley retainers and Essix removable retainers.  

Hawley retainers have metal wires, attached to an acrylic center plate that sits in the palate, or the roof of the mouth. The metal wires anchor between the back teeth to hold the retainer in place. 

The Essix retainer is similar to Invisalign. This removable clear retainer uses custom-made aligner trays to cover the entire surfaces of the teeth. Using our in-house 3-D printer, we can custom-design and print Essix retainers in our office! 

As you’re nearing the end of your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will discuss the different types of retainers we offer to ensure that your smile stays beautiful for the rest of your life!

Retainers Cost

Your retainer is a part of your orthodontic treatment plan, so it’s included in your affordable payment plan! Unless you damage or lose your retainer, there won’t be an additional retainer cost. If you join our retainers assurance program, your replacements will be covered, and you won’t have any additional retainer costs either! 

When your retention phase begins, you’ll receive your custom-designed, removable retainer and/or fixed retainer. To keep your removable retainer in great shape, we advise that you store it in your designated carrying case every time you take it out of your mouth. 

Retainers Assurance Program

We offer a retainers assurance program that you can sign up for to ensure that you keep your teeth straight! You’ll receive a 3D printed model of your teeth and two sets of retainers once your braces come off or your Invisalign treatment is complete. You’ll also receive a set of complementary retainers.

With our program, you can get up to 4 replacement retainers per year for 5 years Simply bring or mail your 3D printed models to us if your retainer is lost, broken or needs to be replaced, and we’ll create your new retainer at no additional cost and have it ready for pickup the same day or shortly after.

Still Have Questions

about retainers?

We’re here to answer your questions! It’s important to us that we make you feel comfortable and provide you with the information you need to undergo a smooth, successful orthodontic treatment.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re committed to providing the highest quality of patient care in the area.

Request your complimentary exam

with the highest-reviewed orthodontists in Richmond, VA to begin a life-changing journey.