Teen boy with Invisalign

Love Your Smile for a Lifetime

Once you achieve your stunning new smile with Dr. Fritz, Dr. Wilson and our team, you’ll want to keep your smile forever! All you have to do is wear your retainer to smile confidently for a lifetime.

Following orthodontic treatment, we will actively monitor your retainer wearing for 24 months! We want to help you achieve and maintain your beautiful new smile.

When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. We actively monitor your retainer wearing for 24 months after removal of your braces. Your final result depends on your orthodontic retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

Teen boy with Invisalign

What does a retainer do?

When your orthodontic treatment with any type of braces or clear aligners is complete, you’ll start wearing your custom retainer. Your retainer plays the key role of holding your teeth in their beautiful new position to prevent them from ‘relapsing’.

Your teeth are susceptible to ‘orthodontic relapse’ (reverting back to their original pre-treatment positions) when your braces are removed or you take out your clear aligners for the last time. Your new smile requires a period of retention to ensure that it stabilizes in the proper alignment.

Man with Invisalign smiling

How long will I wear a retainer after braces or clear aligners?

At the beginning of your retention phase, you’ll be instructed to wear your retainer full-time for one year. This is how we achieve and maintain the best results!

After about a year, you’ll be able to reduce your wear to nights only. Because teeth have a tendency to shift throughout life, it’s important that you wear your retainer at night, indefinitely.

We will actively monitor your retainer wearing for 24 months.

Types of Retainers

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

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers are similar to clear aligners. They can be taken out as needed to eat, clean your teeth, and clean your retainer. We print custom retainers in our very own office with our 3D printer!

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers, or permanent retainers, are bonded to your teeth and remain in place until removed by Dr. Fritz or Dr. Wilson. 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.

  • Keep retainers clean by brushing them with your toothbrush and water.  Toothpaste works well to clean Hawley retainers but can scratch the clear type of retainers. Retainers can be cleaned with commercial retainer cleaner specified for use with retainers.  Denture cleaner can be used occasionally but because of stronger chemicals, these solutions may hurt the solder on Hawley retainers over time.
  • When retainers are not being worn, they should be kept in their case (not wrapped in a paper towel or in your pocket). If retainers get thrown in the garbage, don’t try clean it it with boiling water! Retainers can be cleaned  with antibacterial soap and rinsed well.  If further disinfecting is requested, please contact our office for further instructions.
  • Retainers should be kept away from pets. They can make a very expensive chew toy!!
  • Retainers should not be left in hot cars.  They can warp.
  • Please bring retainers to EVERY adjustment appointment.

Retainer Do’s and Don’ts


  • Do put your retainer in your retainer case every time you remove it from your mouth.
  • Do bring your retainer to each of your appointments.
  • Do clean your retainer every time you brush your teeth. You can use a mild dish soap and an extra soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your retainer.
  • Do clean your retainer case regularly. You want your clean retainer to be placed back in a clean carrying case every time. You can use a mild soap and lukewarm water to wash your retainer case daily, or at least a few times a week.
  • Do soak your retainer in a retainer cleaning solution (like RetainerBrite) to disinfect your retainer a few times a week.
  • Do clean your retainer before and after placing it in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser or soap residue.

Do Not

  • Do not expose your retainers to heat! Your retainer can melt or warp and become ineffective, so it’s important that you do not put them in the dishwasher, use hot water on them, or leave them in your car.
  • Do not leave your retainer around your pets. You don’t want to find out how much they love chewing retainers!

How much do retainers cost?

Your initial set of retainers will be included in your treatment cost!

However, in the event that you lose or break your retainer, there will be a replacement fee. If you lose or damage your retainer, please let us know immediately. We want you to have a new retainer as soon as possible to prevent your teeth from shifting out of place and avoid jeopardizing your hard work.

Creating Smiles for the Future.

Request your complimentary consultation!