So you’ve been wearing that same old retainer for years now, and it’s definitely seen better days. With time the retainer loses the fit and might not snug tightly to your teeth, not to mention it’s stained and smells bad. As much as you’ve grown attached to your faithful retainer after all this time, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
Are you wondering how to get a new retainer and how much is it to replace retainers? In this blog, we’ll walk you through exactly what to expect when getting fitted for new retainers, where to buy new retainers, what happens if you forget to wear your retainer, how much is it to replace retainers, and some tips for keeping your new retainers fresh so you’re not in this same boat a few years down the line.
The Importance of Wearing and Replacing Retainers
After completing orthodontic treatment, the natural tendency of teeth to revert to their original positions is addressed by retainers. These trays act as stabilizers, preventing any relapse and maintaining the desired alignment achieved through treatment.
Adhering to your orthodontist’s prescribed wear schedule is imperative to secure the longevity of your straightened smile.
However, over time, retainers can wear out or lose their shape, diminishing their effectiveness. It’s essential to listen to your orthodontist’s guidance on replacement intervals. Consistently replacing your retainers ensures they retain their supportive function, allowing your smile to consistently look its best.
The Cost of Replacement Retainers
Replacing retainers typically ranges from $150 to $500, depending on the type of retainer and where you get it from. An orthodontist who treated you will likely charge on the higher end of that range, while some orthodontic supply companies may charge less.
- Hawley or Clear Retainers from your orthodontist usually cost between $200 to $500 to replace.
- The cost of clear aligners can go up to $400-$800 per set.
- Essix or Clear Plastic Retainers from an orthodontic supply company are often the most affordable at $150-$300.
While it may be tempting to save money by going with a cheaper option, it’s best to talk to your orthodontist first. They can evaluate if a different retainer type is suitable and properly fitted. An ill-fitting or incorrect retainer won’t keep your teeth in the right position, undoing all your hard work and investment.
Replacing lost or broken retainers quickly is key to maintaining your smile. Ask your orthodontist about payment plans if the upfront cost is prohibitive. Keeping your teeth in line is worth the investment to prevent future issues and achieve the smile you want for life. With proper care, your new retainer should last at least 2-5 years, so think of it as an easy investment in your dental health and confidence.
Why Might You Need to Replace Retainers?
Why might you need to replace your retainer? There are a few common reasons retainers need replacement.
Lost or Broken Retainer
If you’ve lost or broken your retainer, you’ll obviously need a replacement. Losing a retainer can happen easily, as they’re small devices and accidents happen. If your retainer breaks while wearing it or cleaning it, contact your orthodontist right away for a replacement to avoid your teeth shifting.
If your teeth have shifted since initially getting your retainer, you’ll need a new one to get your smile back to where it should be. Teeth naturally want to shift back to their original position without the constant pressure of braces or a retainer. Your orthodontist will need to re-evaluate your teeth and bite to determine if any adjustments or additional treatment is needed before providing you with new retainers tailored to your current teeth positioning.
Ill-Fitting or Damaged Retainer
If your retainer has become warped, developed holes or tears, or just doesn’t fit as well as it used to, it’s time for replacement. An ill-fitting or damaged retainer won’t properly hold your teeth in the right position and needs replacement.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Lost or Damaged Retainers?
Replacing retainers typically ranges from $150 to $500 per retainer, depending on the material and treatment needed. If your retainer breaks or goes missing, don’t panic—it’s usually an easy fix. Here’s what to expect for the cost of replacing retainers:
Basic Replacement Retainers
The most affordable option is replacing your retainer with a new one made of the same material, like clear plastic or wire. This typically starts around $100-$250 per retainer. Your orthodontist will take a new impression or 3D scan of your teeth to ensure the best fit.
Upgraded or Specialty Retainers
If you want to upgrade to a more durable or esthetically-pleasing retainer, expect to pay $300-$500 per retainer. Options include:
- Hawley Retainers: They are sturdy and don’t require frequent replacement.
- Lingual retainers: Custom wire retainers bonded behind your front teeth.
- Permanent Retainers: Bonded behind the front teeth and not removable.
The total cost will also depend on whether you need retainers for both upper and lower teeth. Replacing both can double the overall price. But keeping your teeth in the right place is worth the investment!
Factors Influencing the Retainer Replacement Cost
Several factors determine how much it will cost to replace your retainer. The specifics of your case, the materials used, and additional services can all impact the final price.
Type of Retainer
The kind of retainer you need replaced will significantly affect the cost. A simple plastic Hawley Retainer, for example, will typically cost between $150 to $500 to replace. A more complex fixed retainer bonded to the back of your teeth will be on the higher end of that range, around $300 to $500. Replacing a clear aligner-style retainer will usually be the most expensive option, averaging $500 to $1000 per retainer.
More premium materials will increase the replacement cost. Plastic retainers are the most affordable. Adding metal parts, like the palatal bar in a Hawley Retainer, will increase the price. Ceramic or resin materials used in some clear aligners are the most costly.
Some orthodontists or dentists may charge extra for services beyond simply replacing the retainer itself. This could include another impression or fitting, adjustment or repair appointments, or fees for shipping or rush delivery if turnaround time is a concern.
What happens if you forget to wear your retainer
Regardless of the retainer type, expect an adjustment period with possible discomfort, which should subside in a few days. Never skip wearing your retainer; adhere strictly to instructions. Maintain and care for it diligently to ensure its efficacy in keeping your teeth in place.
A misfitting retainer indicates teeth shifting, especially after extended non-use. If you forget your removable retainer for a day or two, resume the routine as instructed. For longer lapses, check the fit. If it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t fit, contact your orthodontist promptly.
Prolonged neglect can result in bone tissue adapting to the new tooth position, jeopardizing your investment and straight smile achieved through braces. Wear your retainer as prescribed to save your time and effort.
Where to Get New Retainers: Options for Retainer Replacement Near Me
Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, it’s critical to wear your retainers as directed to maintain your new smile. However, retainers can wear out or get lost over time. When this happens, you’ll need to get replacement retainers. Wondering how can I get a new retainer? Let’s find out how to get a new retainer replacement near you:
Visit Your Orthodontist
The best place to get replacing retainers is through your orthodontist’s office. They have your records and can make new retainers tailored to your teeth. Cost will depend on the type of retainer needed (clear plastic versus wire) and your insurance coverage, but typically ranges from $200 to $500 for a set.
Order From an Online Retailer
Some online retailers offer replacing retainers by mail order. You provide details about your orthodontic treatment and teeth impressions or scans which they use to custom-make your new retainers. Prices are often a bit lower than from an orthodontist, around $130 to $350 per set. However, the fit may not be quite as precise.
That covers the basics of replacing retainers. While the cost can vary depending on factors like your orthodontist, insurance, and treatment plan, you can expect to pay between $100 to $500 for a new retainer. The good news is once you get a new retainer, you’ll be back to confidently flashing that bright smile again.
So take a deep breath and make that appointment with Orthodontic Experts, conveniently located near you and put your worries about “how to get a new retainer” to rest! Your teeth, wallet, and social life will thank you for it. And remember, retainers are for life, so do your best not to lose or break this new one!
Remember, your smile is an investment worth protecting. So, embrace the routine of retainer use and keep shining with confidence!