Removable Retainers

Removable retainers are the key to keeping your gorgeous, new smile straight for life! After completing your initial treatment, you will wear your clear plastic retainers at nighttime. Placing them on your teeth should become part of your routine. Our clear retainers are made from a plastic material that is virtually invisible and less bulky than a traditional metal retainer. 

When you finish your orthodontic treatment, we will scan your mouth with our digital 3D iTero scanner to create a mold of your teeth. We will use this mold to create your custom clear retainers in our in-house lab. When you pick up your retainers, we will give you your removable retainers along with your mold. Keep this mold of your teeth as it can be used to create new retainers in the future so you won’t have to be scanned again.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers are the key to keeping your gorgeous, new smile straight for life! After completing your initial treatment, you will wear your clear plastic retainers at nighttime. Placing them on your teeth should become part of your routine. Our clear retainers are made from a plastic material that is virtually invisible and less bulky than a traditional metal retainer. 

When you finish your orthodontic treatment, we will scan your mouth with our digital 3D iTero scanner to create a mold of your teeth. We will use this mold to create your custom clear retainers in our in-house lab. When you pick up your retainers, we will give you your removable retainers along with your mold. Keep this mold of your teeth as it can be used to create new retainers in the future so you won’t have to be scanned again.

What to Expect with Removable Retainers

Transitioning to the retention phase of treatment is a whole new part of your orthodontic journey! And it is natural to have many questions. Let’s cover when to wear your retainer, how to care for your removable retainer, and the proper way to store it.

Wearing Your Retainer

It’s common for most people to need a full-time retainer after having their braces or Invisalign attachments removed. Most patients will need to wear their retainer daily for two months and then transition to nighttime wear for life. You will need to wear your clear retainer for as long as you want your teeth to remain straight. Removable retainers are made from transparent, plastic material, so you won’t have to worry about them being noticeable when you’re wearing them! 

Each time you eat, brush your teeth or play sports that require a mouthguard, you should remove your retainers. If you also drink any sugary or acidic beverages, ensure you remove your retainers as they will trap the liquid and cause enamel decalcification.

Cleaning Your Retainer

There are many ways you can clean your removable retainers. We recommend cleaning them using one of the methods below every week. 

  • Brushing with Toothpaste: Apply a small bead (smaller than the size of a pea) of toothpaste on your toothbrush, and gently but thoroughly brush your retainers. 
  • Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets: These can be ordered online from Retainer Brite or through many national chain stores. 
  • 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 also soak them in mouthwash diluted with water for about 10 minutes.

Cleaning Your Retainer

There are many ways you can clean your removable retainers. We recommend cleaning them using one of the methods below every week. 

  • Brushing with Toothpaste: Apply a small bead (smaller than the size of a pea) of toothpaste on your toothbrush, and gently but thoroughly brush your retainers. 
  • Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets: These can be ordered online from Retainer Brite or through many national chain stores. 
  • 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 also soak them in mouthwash diluted with water for about 10 minutes.

Storing Your Retainer

Whenever you take your retainer out of your mouth, make sure to place them in your provided storage case immediately. Develop a routine, so you do not lose your retainers. It is very easy to place your retainers on a napkin or lunch tray and accidentally throw them away! 

Ensure that you keep your retainers away from surfaces that can become hot such as microwaves, washers, dryers, stoves, car dashboards, and dishwashers. Pets also love the smell of saliva and will try and chew on your retainers if they get access to them. Keep your retainer out of reach and away from your cats and dogs.

Types of Removable Retainers

We offer two types of removable retainers: Essix Retainers and Vivera Retainers. You will be able to select which option you would like at the end of your treatment. These removable and clear retainers differ from the permanent, lower bonded lingual retainer you will have placed on your bottom, front six teeth. You will receive a top and bottom retainer for each arch, which can be placed on top of the permanent retainer. 

Essix Clear Retainer

Essix retainers are made of a thin, clear plastic material customized to fit precisely over your teeth. There are no wires, and they are hardly noticeable. Depending on your clenching, grinding, and how well the retainers are cared for, Essix retainers only need to be replaced every two to three years. 

  • 1 Set Included in Treatment
  • $150 per arch to replace w/ mold
  • $220 per arch to replace w/out mold

Vivera Retainer

Vivera retainers are also clear and removable. However, the material used in their construction is 30% stronger than the Essix. As a result, the Vivera retainers are less likely to crack or break over time. While there is an additional cost of $300 upfront for Vivera, you will get four sets of retainers (4 uppers and 4 lowers). This means you will get 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

Benefits of Removable Retainers

With our clear, plastic retainer options come many benefits including:

  • Customized to fit your teeth precisely from your digital iTero scan
  • Thinner material with no wires for greater comfort.
  • Made with clear, transparent plastic, so they are virtually invisible.
  • If you lose or break your retainer, it is easy to have a new one made. All you have to do is bring in your custom mold, and no scan or appointment is required! 
  • Easily removable for eating, drinking, and cleaning.

Get Removable Retainers
Near You

Our staff will help you select the removable retainer option that is best for you at the appointment before you get your braces off and will answer any questions you may have. 

If you are new to our office and just need a new retainer from previous orthodontic treatment you can call or text our office to set up a digital scan at 919.303.4557!

Learn More About Retainers