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 tend to shift out of place. Your retainer prevents this tendency to shift, supporting your smile in maintaining its healthy, beautiful alignment.
There are two main types of retainers—permanent retainers and removable retainers.
Types of retainers
Fixed or permanent retainers
A fixed retainer is a wire that’s permanently cemented behind the teeth. It’s custom-made and usually placed on the bottom teeth, but can also be used on the top teeth if needed.
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.
We offer two types of removable retainers: Hawley and Essix.
Hawley has metal wires and an acrylic plate that anchor between teeth.
Essix is a clear, custom-made aligner that covers teeth surfaces. As you near the end of treatment, your orthodontist will discuss the retainers to ensure a lasting smile.
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.
Retainer 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.