Retainers & Appliances

Keeping Your Teeth Straight With Retainers

Don’t let the money you spent on braces or Invisalign® go to waste! The 20 Mile Orthodontics staff in both Parker and Castle Rock, CO want to see all of our patients have a smile they can love, forever!

Retainers are an essential part of orthodontic care after the initial alignment has been completed with braces or Invisalign®. Teeth often continue shifting throughout a person’s life, so retainers are required to keep them straight.

Different Types of Retainers

There are three main types of retainers: hawley, clear, and fixed.

Hawley Retainers

Being the oldest form of retainer, this is a tried and true option.

The Hawley retainer consists of wires and clasps that are fixed into a plastic body made from a mold taken from the patient’s mouth. Making the plastic body from a mold ensures maximum comfort for the patient.

The body of the retainer either sits on the roof of the mouth or behind the bottom front teeth. In the meantime, the wire portion of the retainer spans the front teeth. Finally, clasps fit around some of the back teeth to anchor it in place. These components work together to prevent the teeth from shifting.

Essix Retainer

In recent years, this type of retainer has stormed the market and is a popular choice among patients.

Simply put, Essix retainers are thin, clear plastic, and they cover all of the patient’s teeth. These retainers are similar to Invisalign® aligners in many ways, but a key difference is the life of each set.

Invisalign requires the wearer to return to the office every few weeks for a new set, while Essix retainers only come with the occasional visit and can last six months to a few years.

Permanent Retainer

Permanent, or fixed, retainers are a desirable option because they essentially are set it and forget it. A permanent retainer is just a wire fixed behind the top and/or bottom teeth to restrict their ability to shift. Permanent retainers can only be removed by a dental professional.

How Often Do You Have to Wear a Retainer?

Daily usage varies from person to person and is largely dependent on the type of retainer worn, but in general, patients should wear their retainer for at least 12-20 hours a day for the first six-to-twelve weeks after braces or Invisalign®. After this window, patients may qualify to wear them only at night.

Do You Have to Wear a Retainer Forever?

A person must wear their retainer as long as they desire straight teeth. Not doing so for long enough will require corrections using braces or Invisalign®.

How Much Do Retainers Cost?

Hawley and Fixed Retainers tend to be in the range of $150-$600, while Essix retainers are generally on the cheaper side between $50 and $200. Despite Essix being less expensive, their lifespan is significantly lower, lasting around six months to two years. On the other hand, Hawley retainers typically have a five-ten year lifespan, and fixed retainers can last upwards of 20 years.

Retainers in Castle Rock & Parker, CO

All of us at 20 Mile Orthodontics want to see you maintain a smile you can love.

Our orthodontist will help you determine whether you need a retainer after your orthodontic treatment. Call us today at 303-841-2262 to schedule an appointment at either of our offices, located in Parker and Castle Rock, Colorado!