Orthodontic Retainers

After finishing your orthodontic treatment, it’s time to show off your new smile with confidence! But remember, wearing a retainer after braces is crucial to maintaining your new alignment. Consult the experts at Risinger Orthodontics to learn more about types of retainers, and how you should wear your orthodontic retainer after braces.

Types of Retainers

Dr. Risinger will recommend one of two types of retainers after braces. We have bonded and removable retainers to fit your personal needs.

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer uses a plastic plate that fits the roof or basin of your mouth, connected to a wire that goes across your teeth. The customized design keeps your teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. Hawley retainers are comfortable, easy to use, and highly effective at maintaining the results of your smile as long as they are worn as directed. 

Pros and Cons of Hawley Retainers


  • Provides a customized fit to the patient’s mouth
  • Can be adjusted as needed over time
  • Offers the option to select a custom plate color
  • Durable and resistant to damage
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Can be removed for convenient cleaning and care


  • More visible compared to other types of retainers due to the wire that sits in the front
  • The plastic plate may cause discomfort or difficulty speaking
  • Inadequate cleaning can lead to the growth of bacteria
  • Improper usage may cause teeth to shift
  • Requires consistent compliance to ensure effectiveness
  • Can be lost, damaged, or broken.

Vivera Retainers

Vivera Retainers, from the makers of Invisalign clear aligners, are a virtually invisible and comfortable way to safeguard the outcome of your orthodontic treatment. They are 30% stronger and twice as durable than other types of clear retainers! You’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of Vivera Retainers after your Invisalign or braces treatment.

Vivera Retainer Subscription Program

With the Vivera Subscription program, it’s easy to maintain your beautiful new smile! The program automatically provides new, high-quality clear retainers once or twice a year – just set it and forget it! Contact us today to learn more about the Vivera Retainer Subscription.

Benefits of Vivera Retainers


  • Easily removable and simple to clean
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Unobtrusive appearance
  • Multiple copies can be made as backup retainers
  • Snug fit ensures excellent protection for straightened teeth
  • Long-lasting performance due to superior material

Permanent Retainers

A permanent retainer, also known as a lingual wire, is a thin wire that is bonded to the back of either the upper or lower teeth. The wire remains concealed on the back of your teeth, making it an unobtrusive way to preserve the outcome of your treatment while keeping your smile intact.

Despite the name, a permanent retainer is not truly permanent and can be removed when necessary. Most people wear their permanent retainer for several years with no adverse effects on their oral health, comfort, or the appearance of their teeth.

Pros and Cons of Permanent Retainers


  • Following instructions for wear and maintenance is hassle-free
  • Not visible to others
  • Unlikely to cause speech difficulties
  • Cannot be lost or misplaced easily
  • Durable and difficult to damage


  • More challenging to brush and floss your teeth
  • The metal wire may irritate the tongue

What to Expect with Retainers

Wearing Your Retainer

It is crucial to wear your retainer as directed. Directly after braces removal, most patients need to wear their retainer 24/7. After this initial period, Dr. Risinger will let you know when you can switch to wearing the retainer only at night. It is necessary to remove the retainer while eating, swimming, or engaging in vigorous sports.

It is common to experience some discomfort or speech changes for a few days when you first get a new retainer, but this will resolve on its own. If the retainer causes sore spots on your gums, please contact our office to schedule an adjustment for better comfort.

Cleaning Your Retainer

Proper care of your retainer is essential for maintaining your dental health. Always take out your retainer before eating, and avoid exposing your retainer to heat sources or hot water, as this can cause it to warp.

It is crucial to clean your retainer daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush to gently brush it, then soak it in a cleaning solution. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth before putting your retainer back in your mouth.

Retainers can easily break if mishandled, so do not attempt to reshape or refit them. The most significant danger with retainers is forgetting them or misplacing them. To prevent this, always return your retainer back to its case when not in use.

To learn more, check out our blog on how to care for your orthodontic retainer!

Storing Your Retainer

To ensure the safety and proper care of your retainer, it is recommended that you follow these guidelines:

Cost of Orthodontic Retainers

Your first retainer is covered under the overall cost of your braces or clear aligners. If your retainer is damaged, dislodged, or requires replacement, you will need to pay for this separately from the initial orthodontic treatment. The cost of replacing a retainer can range from $150 to $600, depending on the nature of your situation and the orthodontist you choose to visit.

Smile Bright with the Right Retainers, Contact Risinger Today!

While you may think you are finished with treatment once your braces come off or you are finished wearing your last aligner, wearing a retainer is an important step to ensure your teeth settle into their proper positions. Dr. Risinger will evaluate your teeth after your orthodontic treatment to determine what type of retainer you need. For more information about retainers after braces, contact Risinger Orthodontics today!