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Once your braces have been removed, or you complete your Invisalign® treatment, your beautiful new smile is revealed! This is an exciting time, but your orthodontic treatment isn’t done yet.. Now it’s time for the retention phase.

The final part of your orthodontic treatment will continue for the rest of your life—and that means your beautiful new smile will last a lifetime too!

What do retainers do?

A retainer solidifies your new smile. It holds your teeth in their final position to prevent them from shifting out of place.

Teeth gradually shift as a natural response to muscular forces throughout our lifetime—whether you’ve undergone orthodontic treatment or not. This happens more frequently when teeth have been moved with orthodontics, and there is a risk that the teeth will return to the position they were in prior to treatment.

That’s because your teeth are especially susceptible to shifting once your braces or Invisalign treatment is no longer supporting your teeth and gums.

The reason you wear a retainer after braces is (literally) to retain your new smile! Retainers hold the teeth in place and encourage them to settle in the intended post-treatment position.

Girl with long hair, she is showing her smile after wearing her retainer.

Your Complimentary Consultation

If you haven’t scheduled your complimentary consultation yet, get started today. You have nothing to lose, only confidence to gain!

Our Retainer Program

To maintain the beautiful smile you worked so hard for throughout your treatment, you’ll have to commit to a long-term retention plan.

Over time, retainers age. They may lose their effectiveness, break, or become lost or damaged due to neglect. To provide peace of mind and help you protect your investment, we offer our patients the Retainer Program for long term protection!

Our Retainer Program helps to ensure that you always have properly fitting retainers, without having to worry about retainer cost. After paying the initial enrollment fee, you’ll receive up to 4 free replacement retainers per year (one arch per replacement). After 6 years, you’re eligible to re-enroll in the program!

If you want to know more about our retainer program, please reach out to us!

Types of Retainers

We provide different types of retainers, including fixed retainers and removable retainers.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers serve the same purpose as fixed retainers, but these ones can be removed when eating and drinking. Eventually, after a year of the retention phase, you’ll be able to remove your retainer during the day and place it back in at night.

We provide classic Hawley retainers or clear Essix retainers.

Hawley Retainers

Traditional Hawley retainers have a metal bar that wraps around the front teeth and are known for their durability. They have a (colored-added) acrylic plate that fits behind the teeth and covers the palate.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed (also known as “permanent”) retainers use thin metal wires or bars hidden behind the teeth (depending on your condition). These retainers are custom-fit to the exact arch of the teeth, and can hold top teeth together to prevent gaps from reforming.

Essix Retainers

Clear Essix retainers have a similar appearance to Invisalign® clear aligners. They’re made of durable, BPA-free plastic that supports the entire dental arch and holds the teeth in place.

Modern clear retainers are often considered the best option for retaining the teeth, because they’re much more esthetically-appealing than Hawley retainers and don’t cause gagging. That’s why Essix is the only retainer product we use in the Retainer Program.

How do I make my retainer last?

Although retainers may need to be replaced every 5 years, there are some steps you can take to care for your retainer and prolong its life:

A girl standing agaisnt a blue background, and pointing at her smile. She has long hair and is wearing a yellow shirt.

When should I replace my retainer?

Your retainer, at some point, may need to be replaced. Over time, the plastic of an Essix retainer will become dull and may even crack, thereby losing some of its effectiveness.

Essix Retainers typically last 5 years before they need to be replaced from normal wear and tear, such as patient handling, night-time teeth grinding, etc.

Don’t forget to replace your retainer!

Many people wait too long to schedule an appointment after they lose or break their retainer, because they fear the retainer replacement fee. If you go too long without your retainer, your teeth will shift, and you may have to go back into braces or Invisalign.

We started the Retainer Program to motivate patients to come in immediately when their retainer is ready for replacement, regardless of if it’s due to natural wear, loss, or damage.


Retainers Cost

Your first retainer set won’t cost you any additional money! Retainers are a part of your orthodontic treatment, so it’s included in your affordable payment plan.

If you lose or break your retainer and you have not enrolled in our Retainer Program, there will be an out-of-pocket cost to replace it or fix it.

Life happens and accidents happen. Retainers often get thrown in the trash or chewed by a pet. Our Retainer Program will safeguard you from additional fees caused by these unfortunate (but common) situations!

Want to know more about retainers?

All you have to do is give us a call or send us a message! We would love to answer your questions about retainer cost, retainer wear, types of retainers, or anything else you’re wondering about.

If you’re ready to begin your smile transformation, get started today by requesting your free exam with top-rated orthodontists in North Tampa, South Tampa, Wesley Chapel, or East Bradenton!

A young girl, holding a mirror and looking at her new smile. She seems excited, and is delighted with the results of orthodontic treatment.