So, you just finished your orthodontic treatment and can enjoy a newly straightened smile. While your teeth are straight, it doesn’t mean that your treatment is over. After all of the time and money that you’ve invested into your new smile, you’ll want to ensure that your teeth stay aligned once you’ve completed the process of your braces or aligners. That’s why your expert orthodontist provides retainers after your treatment. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of wearing retainers and how much they cost!
What is a Retainer?
There are two types of retainers. One has a wire in front and metal clasps to hold it in place, while the other is a piece of clear plastic that fits over your teeth. These are custom-made to snuggly fit around your smile, and their main job is to hold your newly aligned teeth in place. Typically, orthodontists will recommend that you wear a retainer full time after treatment. Then, you can switch to just night time use after a month or so. It can take your teeth four to six months to become permanently set in their new positions.
It’s imperative to wear your retainer as instructed because failure to do so can result in shifting teeth—the last thing that you want to happen after spending up to multiple years straightening your smile. That’s why it’s worth it to commit to the finishing touch of your orthodontic treatment.
How Much Do Retainers Cost?
The cost of your retainer(s) will vary based on which type you need and whether or not your insurance covers it. Insurance plans that cover two-phase orthodontics will also typically cover retainers after each phase. Usually, treatment like Invisalign is considered an optional treatment, so in that case, retainers would not be covered. The best way to know the cost of your retainer will be to visit your orthodontist. They will be able to examine your smile to recommend what type of retainer would work best. Once this is done, you’ll be given a more precise cost estimate.
How Long Do Retainers Last?
How long your retainer lasts will depend on which type of retainer it is. Some are only meant to last 6 to 12 months, while others can last up to 20 years. The most common retainer used after orthodontic treatment is the clear plastic ones, which tend to last a little over a year. This is more than enough time to allow your teeth to permanently set in place, as long as you wear your retainer as instructed.
Does it sound like you could benefit from a retainer? Contact your orthodontist today to ensure that your teeth have shifted permanently.
Meet the Orthodontist
Dr. Stan Drabik is an experienced orthodontist who is always staying up-to-date with the latest techniques and technology. He believes in patient education, which is why he wants you to know the importance and cost of your potential retainer. For any questions, he can be contacted through his website or by phone at his Webster and Rochester offices.