Retainers | Removable and Fixed | Graf Orthodontics


Once you achieve your stunning new smile, you’ll want to keep it forever! All you have to do is wear your retainer to love your smile for a lifetime. 


What does a retainer do?

When your orthodontic treatment with any type of braces or Spark™ 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.

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 create most of our custom retainers in-house with our very own 3-D printer! Our removable retainers are made of clear, high-quality plastic, and are custom-designed just for you.

Fixed retainers

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

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

We will actively monitor your retainer wearing for up to 6 months after orthodontic treatment. We’ll instruct you to wear your retainer every night, indefinitely! Night time for a lifetime, as we say. 


This is how you’ll maintain the best results, because teeth have a tendency to shift throughout life.

Retainer Do’s and Don’ts


  • Do put your retainer in your retainer case every time you remove it from your mouth. 
  • 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 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!

Retainer 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.

Smile With Confidence.

You won’t need a filter.