After all of the hard work you dedicate to your braces or Invisalign® treatment, you deserve to love your smile for years to come.

Wearing your retainer is the final (and most important) phase of your orthodontic treatment in Oakland. It’s up to you to maintain your results through proper retainer wear and care.

What does a retainer do?

Once active orthodontic treatment is complete, your teeth are susceptible to orthodontic relapse, or reverting back to the original pre-treatment position.

Your retainers play a key role in holding your teeth in their new position. They help ensure you remain proud to show off that new smile!

How long will I wear a retainer after braces or Invisalign?

Once active orthodontic treatment is completed, you will begin the retention phase. Bonded (“permanent”) retainers remain in place with minimal maintenance required on your part. We often recommended these for the lower front teeth. Removable retainers are typically worn nights only. Because teeth can shift at any age, we recommend the use of retainers for as many years as you do not want your teeth to move.

Types of Retainers

There are two types of retainers, removable retainers and fixed retainers.

Removable retainers are similar to Invisalign clear aligners. They can be taken out as needed to eat, brush your teeth, and clean your retainer.

Fixed retainers, or permanent retainers, are bonded to your teeth and cannot be removed without your orthodontist.


The main types of removable retainers are Hawley retainers and clear retainers.

The Hawley retainer has metal wires with an acrylic center that sits in the roof of the mouth. A clear retainer is similar in concept to Invisalign or a bleaching tray. Made of clear plastic, it’s a vacuum formed shell that covers the teeth.

Fixed or Permanent Retainer (Bonded Wire)

These retainers include a small metal wire, custom-designed to fit behind the teeth. They’re generally bonded to the back surface of the bottom teeth, but can also be used behind the top teeth depending on your condition.

Typically, this wire stays in place forever to hold your bottom teeth in their beautiful alignment. The only exception is if your family dentist determines that your oral hygiene is suffering, which could lead to bone or gum problems. Keeping your teeth clean with a permanent retainer is essential.

Retainer Cost

You will receive one custom retainer as a part of your treatment plan. If you happen to lose or break your retainer, there will be a replacement fee.

If you lose or damage your retainer, please let us know as soon as possible. We want you to have a new retainer as soon as possible to prevent your teeth from moving out of place.

The ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of Retainer Wear & Care


Start smiling!

For over 50 years, we’ve provided personalized orthodontic care for families in Oakland, NJ. We’re known for going above and beyond to meet our patients’ needs, and we truly value the relationships we build along the way.

A lifetime of smiles starts here.  Request your complimentary consultation today.