• Call us today: 405-604-3745

How Long Do Retainers Last? When To Get A Replacement Retainer

October 13, 2022

Most retainers won’t last you for the rest of your life. So eventually, you’ll need a replacement retainer to keep your teeth straight. We’ve all heard from orthodontists and dentists about how important it is to wear your retainer once you have had your braces removed.

In most cases, you should wear a retainer for the rest of your life if you want to keep your teeth as straight as they were the day your braces came off. 

But how do you know when retainer replacement is necessary? And how long are typical retainers expected to last? 

Here at Orthodontic Arts, we’ve got answers to common questions about the retainer replacement process and replacement retainers. However, if there’s a question we didn’t cover and you’re interested in learning more, please give us a call or visit the rest of our website! 

How often should you get a replacement retainer? 

When you should replace your retainer depends on which type of retainer you use. There are three types of retainers we find to be most common. 

  • Fixed RetainerPermanent retainer replacement.

This retainer is a wire attached to the back of your teeth with orthodontic glue, much like braces brackets. These can last upwards of ten years. These can cost anywhere from $250 to $500 to replace. To make them last longer, brush and floss well.

  • Hawley RetainerHawley replacement retainer.

This retainer uses a metal wire like a fixed retainer, but you can remove a Hawley retainer. The Hawley retainer is adjustable and can last from three to ten years. These can cost anywhere from $150 to $300 to replace. To help them last longer, keep them in their case to protect them from damage. 


  • Clear Retainerclear replacement retainer.

A clear retainer is removable, like a Hawley retainer, but it has a similar design to an Invisalign insert. It is clear plastic, made from a 3D scan of your teeth, to be a perfect fit. They can last several years with proper care. However, depending on brand and location, replacing these can cost anywhere from $100 to $1000. To help them last longer, keep them away from heat that can warp the plastic. 

Do you have to wear a retainer forever? 

Yes, many orthodontists and dentists recommend wearing a retainer forever if you want to keep your perfect smile. 

Now, that doesn’t mean that if you forget to put your retainer in one night, your teeth will be ruined. You could go about a month without a noticeable difference in your bite

And if you lose your retainer or if it breaks, don’t worry. Your orthodontist has a copy of your perfect smile 3D scan, and they can make a new one again before your teeth shift

Retain your retainer

Once again, if you have any more questions about replacing your retainer, give us a call or visit the rest of our website today.

Orthodontic Arts, your number one Orthodontist in OKC. Our Certified Orthodontist provides the latest and greatest Orthodontic practices to our clients in the OKC and Midtown area. Orthodontic Arts is the best place for child and teen orthodontics as well as adult orthodontics. Be sure to ask about Invisalign and invisible braces! Contact us today at (405) 604-3745 or request an appointment.