How do you ensure that you keep attracting amazing opportunities in life? You wear your retainer. It’s simple!

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?

At the beginning of your retention phase, you’ll be instructed to wear your retainer full-time for one year. This is how we achieve and maintain the best results. 

After about a year, you will be able to reduce your wear to nights only. Because teeth have a tendency to shift throughout life, it’s important that you wear your retainer at night, indefinitely.

Types of Retainers

There are two types of retainers, removable retainers and fixed retainers. 

Removable retainers are similar to Invisalign clear aligners, in that they can be taken out as needed to eat, brush your teeth, and clean your retainer. 

Fixed retainers, or permanent retainers, are bonded to your teeth and cannot be removed without your orthodontist. 

Removable Retainers

The main types of removable retainers are Hawley retainers and Essix retainers. The Hawley retainer has metal wires with an acrylic center that sits in the roof of the mouth. An Essix retainer is similar to Invisalign; it’s a clear retainer made of plastic, custom-made to cover the front and back surfaces of the teeth.

Fixed or Permanent Retainer (Bonded Wire)

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.

A quick lesson in retainers 101

  • Do put your retainer in your retainer case every time you remove it from your mouth. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Do soak your retainer in a retainer cleaning solution (like Retainer Brite) to disinfect your retainer a few times a week.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Do not leave your retainer around your pets. You don’t want to find out how much they love chewing retainers!

Retainer Cost

Good news: Your custom retainer is included in your treatment plan.

Not-so-good news: In the event that you lose or break your retainer, there will be a replacement fee. If you lose or damage your retainer, please let us know as soon as possible. We want you to have a new retainer as soon as possible to prevent your teeth from shifting out of place. 



Your smile is a work of art. Let’s make you a magnet for life’s opportunities.

All you have to do is start the convo, and we’ll take it from there.