How Much Does a Retainer Cost?
A dental retainer is a fixed or removable appliance that is prescribed to patients to wear after their braces are removed. A typical orthodontic treatment goes for 6 months to 2 years (sometimes longer) and when it is completed, patients will be measured for the fabrication of the retainers. As the word suggests, retains are supposed to hold the teeth in place, to actually hold the teeth in their new place in the jaw. How much does a retainer cost? Retainers cost around $400 to $600 depending on which retainers you choose — the price of which usually depends on the materials used and use of an outsourced technician.
Types of Retainers
To get a better grasp of how retainers are priced, you will have to take a look at the different options that patients have:
- Hawley’s Removable Retainers: The most common type of retainers are the Hawley’s removable retainers. These are removable, with extensive palatal coverage and this makes the retainers quite retentive but also uncomfortable to wear. There is a straight metal component that wraps around the teeth hold the teeth in place and given its design they may also be fitted with artificial teeth that should conveniently fill gaps in between teeth, should there be any.
- Invisible Retainers: A useful alternative to the common retainers used is an invisible tray that much appear like an Invisalign® aligner. The trays are invisible because they are made clear and so when they are worn in the mouth, they are not seen — just like the Invisalign® trays.
- Lingual Fixed/Permanent Retainers: This is a fixed retainer option, attached to the lingual or back surface of the teeth, attached conveniently using a bonding adhesive. It is placed at the back, so that it is invisible from the patient’s smile, and it is shaped to follow the contours of the teeth and gums to maintain proper teeth and gum health.
Taking Care of Your Retainers
When you were going through orthodontic treatment and had braces in your mouth, you were told how important it is to take good care of your braces. Now that you are being asked to wear dental retainers, you will also be instructed on how to take care of it. The cost of dental retainers is not exactly low for you to be quite careless about it. As you have spent some money on it, you have to take care of it, or you will find out that you are moving from one appliance to wasting money and throwing good investments away.
It is very important that you know how to take good care of your retainers and here are some strategies you can carryout:
- Clean your retainer regularly. To understand this best, you have to understand that your retainers are now meant to be part of your oral cavity so you have to clean it just as dutifully as you would your mouth. You can clean your retainers every time you take a bath and every time you brush your teeth so that you can rid it of harmful bacteria. You can use your bath soap to clean it thoroughly or your can use the same toothpaste you use for cleaning your teeth. What is important here is that you keep it clean, so that it continues to be wearable and useful.
- Use your retainer properly. Using the retainers properly would mean that you wear it as prescribed and that you wear it without playing with it in your mouth. Playing with the retainers is quite common especially to children and teens. Although the retainers fit snugly in the patient’s mouth, they eventually become loose so that you can play with it easily with your tongue, putting it in and out of your mouth — even breaking it on occasion. To use it properly, you have to make sure to wear it as it is supposed to and not as you think you seem it fit.
- Store your retainer responsibly. When you have removable retainers, you will be given a case in which to store it the same time that your retainers are delivered. To make the retainers functional, you will need to keep the retainers in your mouth at all times and when they are not, they should be placed inside their designated case. Many times when the retainers are out of the patient’s mouth they are wrapped in a tissue and accidentally thrown along with the leftover food. By keeping them in the case, you avoid accidents and so preserve and protect the investment you made.
- Schedule regular visits to your dentist or orthodontist. While this may not exactly directly help you protect the health of your retainers, it is your responsible duty to always schedule appointments with your dentist so that they can help you monitor the health of your teeth and so help you maintain the function of your retainers.
Apart from the responsibility of protecting the investment that you made with the retainers, you also need to be protect the investment you made for fixing your teeth, by wearing the retainers that should maintain the results obtained from the treatment. Relapse is very common after the treatment and if you wish to protect the money you have spent given its cost, you will make sure to wear your retainers as prescribed by your dentist and you have to wear the retainers like you care. How much does a retainer cost? Enough time and money to maintain your beautiful smile!