Retainer Instructions

After completing orthodontic treatment, you may need to obtain a retainer, to ensure your or your child’s teeth do not shift back to their original position.

  • Wear your retainer, every day, for 22 hours in the first year, or until the doctor instructs otherwise.
  • To avoid an extra charge for a replacement retainer, take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.) 
  • Clean the retainer thoroughly, at least once a day with a toothbrush. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, please schedule an appointment.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, schedule an appointment. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Permanent Retainer - $300

Bonded retainers are made by forming a wire along the back of your teeth and securing it so that it holds your teeth in their desired position. Bonded retainers can be made for both the upper and lower teeth. Bonded retainers can last anywhere from 2-10 years depending on how well they are cared for.


Essix Retainer - $250

Essix retainers are clear snap modern on retainers that fit over your teeth. They are often prescribed for both the upper and lower teeth. These retainers holder very well the teeth position, very comfortable and easy to wear.  Typically, Essix retainers can last 1-3 years. 


Hawley Retainer - $350

Hawley Upper or Hawley Lower   are probably the most well-known and old school type of retainers. They are often prescribed for both the upper and lower teeth. Unlike bonded retainers, Hawley retainers may need to be adjusted every 6 months (paid visit). Hawley retainers are usually even more expensive $350-750 is typical each.


How long should I wear my retainer after braces?

Our recommendation is to wear your retainers for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight.

Often people ask us how long they need to wear their retainer after having orthodontic treatment. There are many factors that may influence how long someone needs to wear their retainer, but the best blanket recommendation we can make is to wear your retainers for as long as you want your teeth 

The Purpose of Retainers

Patient need to use a retainer in order to maintain the results achieved through orthodontic treatment.
Our teeth have memory and takes about a year for teeth to become stable in a new position. Teeth wants to shift back to their old position because bone has not yet fully formed around and  retainer helps train your teeth to stay in their new ideal position while this process takes place.               

Timeline of Retainers

For the first 3-6 months of being braces free, you must wear your retainers 22 hours/day.  After a year has passed your dentist may can allow you to go-ahead a transition to nighttime only wear. After couple years your dentist can tell you s to wear your retainer every other night for the rest of your life. Join our LifeTime LA retainer for special price at replacements time.

Our orthodontist will help you determine whether you need a retainer after your orthodontic treatment. For more information, schedule an appointment today!

Los Angeles
(323) 600-5287
1127 Wilshire Blvd Ste 404
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Wednesdays: Consultations and emergencies (10:00am - 5:00pm)
Saturday 9:00am to 3:00pm
San Diego
(619) 287-8870
6699 Alvarado Rd Ste 2202
San Diego, CA 92120
Monday, Tuesday and Friday: Consultations and emergencies
Wednesday and Thursday: 9:00am to 6:00pm