Retaining Your
New Smile

Now that you've achieve a gorgeous smile, it's vital that you wear your retainer to preserve it!

So you've achieved a smile you're proud of. Now what?

Our docs will help you begin the retention stage of treatment. The retention stage is crucial, as it allows you to maintain your new smile so that it stands the test of time.

Retainer Options

Studies show that without retainers, straight teeth can gradually shift back towards their initial position. Wearing retainers after traditional braces or Invisalign® treatment means protecting your smile and investment. We recommend for you to choose between the Essix and Vivera removable retainers for both upper and lower arches in addition to a bonded retainer for your lower front teeth when indicated.

Lower Bonded Retainer

A flat, flexible wire that is bonded to the backside of your front six lower teeth. They are not removable and are not visible while speaking or smiling. This type of retainer is advisable for patients with good oral hygiene. Bonded retainers serve as an additional layer of protection to keep teeth from shifting. Your removable Essix or Vivera retainer will fit on top of the lower bonded retainer.

Included in Treatment

$200 to replace for treated patients

Essix Clear, Removable Retainer

Clear retainer made of thin, transparent plastic which is designed to fit precisely over your teeth. The main advantage of Essix retainers is that they’re hardly noticeable and easy to remove, with no wire to show. With proper care, Essix retainers only need to be replaced every two to three years or more, depending on clenching and grinding.

Included in Treatment

$150 per arch to replace w/ mold

$220 per arch to replace w/out mold

Vivera, Removable Retainer

Vivera retainers are clear and removable just like the Essix. The material is 30% stronger, which reduces the risk of the retainer cracking or breaking. While there is an additional cost of $300 up front for Vivera, you are going to get four sets of retainers (4 upper and 4 lower). This means years of retainers ensuring that you maintain your investment. These are the best option, especially if you are prone to losing or breaking them.

4 sets for $300 at braces removal

$600 to replace 4 sets

Removing Your Retainers

• Take your retainers out every time you eat, brush your teeth, go swimming, or play sports that require a mouthguard.
• Remove your retainers when drinking sugary or acidic beverages; keeping the retainers in will trap the liquid, which could cause enamel decalcification.
• Every time you remove your retainers, store them in the case that was provided to you. Do NOT put your retainers in a napkin or on a lunch tray – it will likely get thrown away!
• Make sure your retainers are kept away from areas that become hot, such as microwaves, washers and dryers, stoves, car dashboards, and dishwashers.
• Keep your retainer away from pets as well, including cats and dogs. Pets like the smell of the saliva and will chew on them if they can.

Invisalign Teen patient standing in front of fountain
Orthodontic Patient holding lacrosse stick

Cleaning Your Retainers

After brushing your teeth, apply a small bead (smaller than the size of a pea) of toothpaste on your toothbrush, and gently but thoroughly brush your retainers before putting them back in. Clean your retainers on a monthly basis by using one of the following methods:

  • Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets: These can be found at
  • Equal Parts Water and White Vinegar: Soak your retainers in this mixture for
    20-30 minutes, then rinse well before putting them back in your mouth. Do not use boiling water.

To keep your retainers tasting fresh, you can soak them in mouthwash diluted with water for about 10 minutes.

Bonded Retainer Guidelines

• Your retainer has been attached to your teeth with a strong and durable adhesive. However, eating hard or chewy foods may break the bonded retainer off your teeth. Be careful when eating as you were when you had braces on your teeth.
• Spend more time and effort brushing this part of your mouth.
• Keep your regular cleaning appointments with your family dentist.
• Be sure to floss your retainer after meals. Use floss threaders, proxy brushes, or special floss made specifically for braces. Thread it between the teeth and the bonded retainer.
• If you notice your teeth shifting, your bonded retainer may be loose. Call our office promptly so we may schedule an appointment to have it rebonded.

Invisalign teen patient smiling
Guitar Player in front of train tracks

Retainer Appointments

Please be sure to bring your retainers with you to all of your retainer check appointments, so that we can check them in your mouth. If you break or lose your retainer, give us a call right away – you don’t want to give your teeth a chance to move! Lost or broken retainers can be replaced for a fee.

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