Retainers | Wiewiora & Dunn Orthodontics


What does a retainer do?

Your retainer is worn once your braces or Invisalign treatment is complete, and it plays the key role of holding your teeth in their beautiful new position to prevent them from ‘relapsing’.

Once active orthodontic treatment is complete, your teeth are susceptible to ‘orthodontic relapse’, or reverting back to their original pre-treatment positions. Your teeth require a period of retention to ensure that they stabilize in the proper alignment.

How long will I wear a retainer after braces or Invisalign?

To maintain your new smile, it’s important that you wear your retainer every night.

Teeth have a tendency to shift throughout life (and that’s the last thing you want), so it’s important that you wear your retainer at night, indefinitely.

Types of Retainers

There are two main types of retainers—permanent retainers and removable retainers.

Fixed (or permanent) retainers

Permanent retainers are bonded (or cemented) to the teeth. These retainers include a small metal wire, custom-designed to fit behind the teeth. They’re generally bonded to the back surface of the bottom teeth, but can also be used behind the top teeth depending on your condition.

Typically, fixed retainers will remain in place for a lifetime to ensure that your teeth don’t shift out of alignment. Maintaining great oral hygiene is essential with these.

Removable retainers

Unlike permanent retainers, removable retainers are not cemented in place. They're very similar to Invisalign clear aligners: custom-made and printed just for you.

Removable retainers come in a set - one retainer for the top teeth and one for the bottom.

When you or your child’s treatment is coming to an end, your orthodontist will explain the different types of retainers to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle!

Retainer FAQs

How long do retainers last?
Your removable retainer can last up to 10 years with proper care! Permanent retainers can last decades to a lifetime.
Your dental retainer is a part of your orthodontic treatment plan, so it’s included in your initial cost! Unless you damage or lose your retainer, there won’t be an additional retainer cost.

At the end of your braces or Invisalign treatment, you’ll receive your custom-designed, removable retainer. To keep it in great shape, we advise you to store your retainer in your designated carrying case every time you take it out of your mouth. This should prevent you from losing or damaging your retainer!
Do not…
1. Do not expose your retainers to heat! Your retainer can melt or warp and become ineffective, so it’s important that you do not put them in the dishwasher, use hot water on them, or leave them in your car.

2. Do not leave your retainer around your pets. You don’t want to find out how much they love chewing retainers!

1. Do put your retainer in your retainer case every time you remove it from your mouth.

2. Do clean your retainer every time you brush your teeth. You can use a mild dish soap and an extra soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your retainer.

3. Do clean your retainer case regularly. You want your clean retainer to be placed back in a clean carrying case every time. You can use a mild soap and lukewarm water to wash your retainer case daily, or at least a few times a week.

4. Do soak your retainer in a retainer cleaning solution (like Retainer Brite) to disinfect your retainer a few times a week.

5. Do clean your retainer before and after placing it in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser or soap residue.

Don’t wait!

A confident smile begins with a free consultation.