Orthodontic issues like crowded or misaligned teeth are common, especially for children. To fix these issues, your child’s orthodontist may recommend a retainer. Retainers are used as a stand-alone treatment but are sometimes used along with braces. This can seem daunting, especially when looking at costs, but it’s important to know that retainers can help keep your child’s teeth healthy and straight. Here’s what to expect from retainers and how they can help.
At Swan Orthodontics, we always include a set of retainers in the cost of treatment. At the end of active treatment (when appliances are moving your teeth), we will recommend retainer wear. Often, we will have you wear your retainers full time (any time you are not eating or drinking) for the first six months, then we will switch you over to night-time wear. We recommend night-time for a life-time.
What Are Retainers?
Retainers are an orthodontic device that’s made out of metal, acrylic or plastic. They are custom-fitted to your teeth and are used to hold your teeth in position. They will need to be used at the completion of treatment to maintain your orthodontic results. Although you should wear your retainers for as long as you would like to keep your results, they are not meant to last a lifetime. We informed our patients that they will wear out at different speeds, like shoes, so they will need to be replaced in the future.
Types of Retainers
Retainers come in many different types. The type or style can impact the initial price as well as the price for any future replacements your child may need.
Removable Invisible Retainers
Cost: $150 for one arch $300 for both arches.
Invisible retainers are made from a clear plastic that is vacuum-sealed to the models of the teeth. This type of retainer is less detectable than other styles, but is susceptible to wear and tear, such as grinding your teeth, which can lead to replacements being needed.
Vivera Clear Plastic Retainers
Cost: $500 for both arches
These retainers are made by Invisalign. They are made from a hard, clear plastic that fits over the teeth. The price is higher than some options, since it comes from an external lab and is made from a patented material.
Removable Hawley Retainers
Cost: $195 per arch or $390 for both arches.
Hawley retainers are made from acrylic that is molded to the teeth with a metal wire that runs over the front of the teeth to hold the retainer in place. This is traditional option for retainers and is often recommended for our younger patients, as it can be adjusted as teeth fall out and grow in.
Cost: $150 for the bottom arch
Bonded retainers are wires that are securely attached to the back of the teeth. We do not place them on the top arch because they have a significant failure rate in the top arch due to the patient’s bite. Although these retainers are glued in place, they may not be the best option for every patient because they are more difficult to clean around. They can also fail over time if they are not properly maintained.
Schedule an Appointment
For parents whose children are struggling with crowded or misaligned teeth, it can feel overwhelming to look at all the options. Fortunately, your child’s orthodontist can help. You can discuss the right options for your child’s smile and your budget during an appointment. To get started, we invite you to contact our Caledonia office by calling or filling out our online form.