After completing the teeth straightening treatments, many orthodontists recommend using retainers to keep the alignment preserved. Clear retainers offer a discreet and comfortable way to maintain that perfect straight smile. Studies, like a 2017 review, have highlighted the numerous advantages of clear retainers, including their invisibility, affordability, and potential for better oral hygiene.
With so many brands out there, choosing the right clear retainer can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re looking for affordability, convenience, or cutting-edge technology, this in-depth guide will help you select a suitable retainer.
TOP 3 Clear Retainers
Best Retainer Brands
Choosing the right orthodontic retainer type can be tricky. After evaluating a number of clear aligner brands on key factors like affordability, effectiveness, comfort, and ease of maintenance, I have come up with the top contenders:
- Best Custom Clear Removable Retainers: Remi
- Best Affordable Retainers: SportingSmiles
- Straightforward Solution for Confident Smile: Candid
- Best Brand Credibility: Byte
- Custom-Fit Retainers: Smileie
- The Father Of Retainers (most popular): Vivera (Invisalign)
This list is just the starting point of your smile journey. Each retainer brand offers its own unique features and benefits, so get ready to explore, compare, and choose the perfect clear retainer for yourself. The table below helps compare the top 6 clear retainer options before making a decision.
Retainer Brand Comparison
|Free kit with purchase
|Every 6-8 weeks initially, 12-18 weeks later
|Included with the purchase of retainers
|Every 8-12 weeks or depends on specific needs
|Maintaining alignment after Candid treatment
|Easy monthly plans. HSA/FSA eligible
|Included in the overall price
|Every 12 weeks
|Reliable prevention of teeth movement
|Flexible payment plans with Affirm and CareCredit. HSA/FSA eligible
|Every 10-12 weeks
|BPA-free custom retainers
|Monthly financing options
|Every 6 weeks
|Best retainers for long-term use
|Affordable payment and subscription plans
|Depends on orthodontist/dentist
Best Transparent Retainers
Best Custom Clear Removable Retainers
Remi gets the first mention with its precision-fit custom clear retainers. The retainers are crafted from medical-grade BPA-free plastic for ultimate comfort and satisfying results. When worn consistently, the Remi retainers effectively maintain your perfect smile.
Remi caters to both upfront and subscription preferences. With the Single Purchase, you pay $113.40 initially for two sets of custom retainers and the impression kit (refundable with treatment purchase). Replacement retainers then cost $89 every 6 months.
Alternatively, the Remi Club offers a monthly membership for $24.95, with new retainers every 6 months, free shipping, and priority service. The choice ultimately depends on your long-term retainer needs and budget.
Remi clear retainers feature durable construction. The BPA-free, dental-grade plastic ensures durability and aesthetic appeal. The 45-Day & Night Comfortable Fit Guarantee reflects Remi’s commitment to perfecting the fit for users.
The 1mm thick and hard-soft Remi retainers offer external protection and internal comfort. The impression-taking process for Remi is straightforward, ensuring a snug fit without compromising comfort.
My experience using Remi retainers was quite comfortable due to their snug fit. Remi’s design prioritizes ultimate protection on the outside and comfort on the inside, providing a reliable and comfortable retainer solution that you can actually wear 22 hours a day.
Treatment experience with Remi retainers is focused on patient satisfaction. The effectiveness, comfort, and convenience of the retainers, coupled with responsive customer service, paint a picture of a brand dedicated to delivering successful smile journeys.
Judging from the user reviews publicly available, the at-home impression kit and online ordering process of Remi retainers are generally lauded as convenient and straightforward. Remi’s customer service also receives positive mentions for its responsiveness and helpfulness throughout the treatment journey.
Best Affordable Retainers
SportingSmiles is recommended for its budget-friendly, high-quality clear retainers, crafted from durable Essix Plus material. Their convenient DIY impression kit and transparent pricing make achieving a confident smile accessible and hassle-free.
SportingSmiles keeps things simple with transparent pricing. A single retainer costs $90-$135 depending on the material (Essix Plus is most durable at $95). A set of two retainers (top and bottom) is for $135 for Essix Plus, potentially less for other materials.
SportingSmile reviews reveal that you can actually get the retainers at a price up to 50% lower than dentist provided retainers. The quality is up to the mark, plus you don’t need to shell out extra money for regular dental visits. You can check our guide on how much do clear retainers cost to compare the cost of SportingSmiles with other retainers.
With SportingSmiles, you get a DIY impression kit, mail it back, and receive your custom retainers – all from the comfort of your home. This budget-friendly, convenient approach makes SportingSmiles a top contender for anyone seeking an accessible path to maintaining a straight, confident smile.
SportingSmiles retainers are affordable, but the lower cost doesn’t mean a compromised quality. Their retainers, primarily crafted from Essix Plus material, a step up from their standard Essix option, boast a winning combination of superior durability and lasting comfort.
This high-grade plastic, renowned for its strength and clarity, delivers reliable protection for your teeth while remaining gentle on your gums. The design itself prioritizes snugness without sacrificing comfort, thanks to the smooth finish and precise molding process.
After using SportingSmiles Essix Plus retainers for a few months, I was highly satisfied with their comfortable fit. I could easily wear the retainers as they caused minimal irritation and weren’t bulky.
Based on my first-hand experience and publicly available reviews, the SportingSmiles treatment experience is generally positive, with users praising their retainers’ effectiveness, comfort, and affordability. Many reviewers report SportingSmiles retainers effectively maintain teeth alignment after braces or other orthodontic treatments, preventing unwanted shifting.
Some users mention successful minor adjustments, like closing slight gaps or correcting minor rotations. Essix Plus material is especially praised for its strength and clarity.
SportingSmiles’ affordability is a major highlight, offering a cost-effective alternative to dentist-provided retainers. I found the DIY approach and easy replacement process appreciable, with responsive and helpful customer service adding to the overall positive experience.
Straightforward Solution for Confident Smile
Candid offers custom-made clear retainers specifically designed to maintain your straightened smile after completing aligner treatment. You experience a seamless transition from aligners to retainers within the Candid treatment journey.
Candid retainers are priced at $99 per set and typically require replacement every 6-9 months. Customers who commenced direct Candid treatment before 3/31/22 can conveniently purchase Candid retainers by clicking “buy now” on the official website.
It’s important to note that the cost of Candid aligners varies, ranging from $3,500 to $7,000, depending on the provider and the number of aligners required. Candid offers a transparent pricing structure, allowing users to easily understand the costs associated with retainers and aligner treatments.
Candid is compatible with FSA and HSA payments; however, it does not participate as an in-network provider with any insurance plans.
Candid’s Essix clear retainers effectively hold your teeth in place after aligner treatment. They’re crafted with precision and comfort in mind, ensuring a seamless transition to the retention phase. Crafted from high-grade Essix plastic, known for its durability, clarity, and gentle feel, these retainers provide reliable protection without compromising comfort.
Unlike some thicker retainers, Candid’s maintain a discreet, aligner-like profile, blending seamlessly into your smile. The custom-molded design ensures a snug yet comfortable fit, crucial for effective retention.
From the moment I received my complimentary retainer after the aligner treatment, I was impressed. It felt virtually identical to my aligners, just slightly thicker. Wearing it overnight was comfortable and barely noticeable. Now, months later, my teeth remain perfectly aligned, a testament to the effectiveness of Candid’s retainers.
Candid has earned acclaim for its successful aligner treatment, remote checkups, and doctor-directed care, placing its retainers among the top 6. Many users appreciate the comfortable, barely noticeable feel of Candid retainers, similar to their aligners. The retainers effectively prevent unwanted shifting.
Several users report that retainers arrive on time after sending impressions, and I have experienced the timely delivery myself. Summarizing my own experience with Candid retainers following aligner treatment, I would describe it as seamless and trouble-free, with no observed unwanted movement.
Best Brand Credibility
Byte clear retainers, currently offered as a bonus with their aligner treatment, are soon to be available for separate purchase.
Right now, Byte clear retainers come bundled with their aligner treatments. For the daytime option, you get free lifetime retainers (one set every 6 months). Nighttime aligners include one free set, with extras costing $129 each.
Soon, you’ll be able to buy Byte retainers separately for $189 per set. If you think you’ll need several sets over the next few years, consider the Byte® Protection Plan: $899 gets you 5 years’ worth of retainers (10 sets) plus coverage for lost or stolen aligners/retainers. Whichever option you choose, Byte recommends replacing your retainers every 6 months.
The Byte for Life Guarantee covers additional treatment if your teeth move out of alignment after treatment, as long as you wear your retainers as directed and confirm this annually.
Byte clear retainers are the invisible guardians of your newly straightened smile. Byte’s PETG plastic is thin and smooth, comparable to most clear retainers. Retainers are 0.40mm thick, ensuring a snug fit without feeling bulky or uncomfortable. Plus, the material is BPA-free, phthalate-free, hypoallergenic, and vegan, making it gentle on even the most sensitive mouths.
The smooth, rounded edges minimize irritation, while the precise molding ensures a custom-like fit that hugs your teeth without pinching or digging. I personally loved the invisible comfort and worry-free replacements of Byte retainers.
Overall, Byte retainers are a top-notch choice for anyone seeking a comfortable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing way to maintain their smile.
Byte retainers seem to excel at their intended purpose – keeping your teeth beautifully aligned after treatment. The added benefits of comfort and convenience make them a compelling choice for anyone seeking a hassle-free way to maintain their smile.
User experiences overwhelmingly praise their effectiveness:
“I easily wear the retainer for at least 20 hours,” says one reviewer. “I wear them all day except for when I eat and sometimes, I forget that I even have them on.” The comfortable, barely-there feel makes compliance a breeze.
Users appreciate the convenience of Byte’s self-managed retainers, as one reviewer remarked that it’s easier not having to visit the dentist for retainer checks. This eliminates the hassle of appointments and fits seamlessly into busy schedules.
While Smileie retainers are relatively new, they’ve swiftly built a reputation for precision and comfort, effectively preserving the ideal alignment achieved in orthodontic treatment.
A set of Smileie’s retainers costs $99.00, with shipping calculated at checkout. Customers have the option to pay in four interest-free installments of $24.75 every two weeks. The Daytime Aligner Plan, priced at $849, and the Night Aligners Plan, priced at $1049, both include two sets of retainers.
As part of their one-go plan, Smileie offers two sets of retainers for free, valued at $180, at the end of the treatment to maintain teeth position.
To order, customers can purchase a $49.99 impression kit, receive it in 2-3 business days, submit workable teeth impressions, and review a 3-D treatment preview in 8-10 days. Upon approval, make payment for aligners, retainers, and a whitening kit, with delivery in 14-15 days.
Smileie’s BPA-free plastic retainers are smooth and thin, ensuring a snug yet comfortable fit. They are gentle on gums, even for sensitive mouths, and the lack of harmful chemicals like BPA gives you peace of mind.
Smileie offers two sets of retainers with their aligner treatment, so you’re already covered for a while! Additionally, you can easily purchase extra sets whenever needed, ensuring you always have a backup on hand.
The snug fit of the Smileie retainers gives me peace of mind knowing my teeth are exactly where they should be, and the discreet design means I can wear them confidently anywhere.
When it comes to retaining your perfect smile after Smileie aligner treatment, their clear retainers seem to hit the mark. User experiences paint a positive picture. A reviewer reports seeing a positive difference after wearing retainers for some months, as minor age related shifts were successfully reversed.
Another user praises the customer service, highlighting the helpfulness and dedication of Smileie’s representatives.
Smileie retainers appear to strike a balance between functionality and customer satisfaction. Their effectiveness in maintaining alignment, coupled with their exceptional customer service, makes them a compelling choice for anyone seeking a smooth transition from aligners to long-lasting smile confidence.
The Father Of Retainers (most popular)
Vivera Retainers, the original clear aligner retainers, have been keeping smiles picture-perfect for years. Trusted by orthodontists and patients worldwide, their proven track record and commitment to quality make them the gold standard in long-lasting smile protection.
Vivera retainers, the crème de la crème of clear retainers, offer a range of cost options to suit your needs. Expect to pay up to $250 per set or $650-$1,500 for recommended packages of four sets. Some providers even offer convenient subscription plans for ongoing retainer needs.
Ordering is a breeze. Simply visit your Invisalign provider who will likely use your existing scans to create your retainers. Replacements are easy too, with some providers even offering direct-to-patient shipping for ultimate convenience.
Investing in a premium retainer, such as Vivera, protects your orthodontic results and may prevent future work. Costs may be covered by insurance or addressed through payment plans. Before treatment, consult your orthodontist to discuss costs and payment options.
Crafted from the same patented SmartTrack™ material as Invisalign aligners, Vivera retainers are discreet and comfortable. Advanced digital scans and 3d printing are used to make these retainers. Unlike aligners, their increased thickness makes them exceptionally durable, lasting several years with proper care.
If you’re looking for a reliable way to maintain your perfect smile after Invisalign treatment, look no further than Vivera retainers. They are an investment in your long-term smile confidence. Their unparalleled durability, superior comfort, and invisibility make them a top choice.
Vivera retainers, a product of Align Technology, are designed to be both comfortable and user-friendly. Their usage schedule is usually divided into two phases. In the initial phase, which lasts for the first 6 to 12 months post-treatment, the retainers are typically worn primarily at night.
After this initial period, the frequency of wear is generally reduced. Patients are advised to use their retainers several nights a week.
Transitioning from Invisalign aligners to Vivera retainers was smoother than I ever imagined. Since I already had Invisalign treatment with my orthodontist, ordering Vivieras was easy. They simply used my existing 3D scans, eliminating the need for new impressions. The whole process felt seamless.
About Clear Plastic Retainers
What Are Clear Retainers?
Clear retainers, also known as Essix or Invisalign retainers, are custom-made, nearly invisible devices crafted from smooth, BPA-free plastic. Primarily used post-orthodontic treatment, they effectively prevent teeth from shifting, offering a comfortable and inconspicuous alternative to traditional braces.
On the other hand, a permanent retainer for bottom teeth or upper one, secures the post-braces alignment with a bonded metal wire. While clear retainers offer invisibility, removability, and enhanced comfort, permanent retainers are non-removable and can last up to 20 years.
Selecting the appropriate tool for a specific purpose is crucial. Explore our guide about are retainers better than braces to learn how each serves a distinct purpose.
Benefits of Clear Retainers
Clear retainers offer numerous advantages in comparison to permanent retainers, including aesthetics, comfort, and user-friendly features. These custom-molded devices effectively prevent teeth from shifting post-orthodontic treatment, be it with braces or Invisalign.
Clear retainers, crafted from a clear thermoplastic material promote confident public wear. Their perfect fit ensures comfort and near invisibility. The easy cleaning and maintenance of clear retainers make it easy to use consistently, crucial for preserving your newly aligned smile.
It’s essential to clarify that while they can address minor teeth shifts, clear retainers aren’t designed for significant realignment. Learn more about how retainers work with shifted teeth to better understand their functionality.
Orthodontic Retainers Treatment Process
Once your teeth reach their desired alignment post-post alignment treatment, you’ll graduate to clear retainers. The treatment with orthodontic retainers is a streamlined journey. It starts with dental assessment to ensure whether you are compatible with the treatment. Next, impressions are taken to create a digital roadmap for your exact teeth form and their positions.
Custom-made retainers are then created to ensure precision and comfort, and you are required to wear them initially for 22 hours each day. Later on, you can wear the retainers at night to ensure your dazzling smile stays picture-perfect for years to come.
While the specifics may vary based on your individual case, the overall process is designed to be comfortable, convenient, and effective, paving the way for a confident grin you can truly cherish. Here is the stepwise treatment approach with retainers that you can expect.
1. Initial Consultation
Before diving into retainers, an initial orthodontic consultation is like checking the map before a road trip. It ensures you’re on the right path! This chat with a professional sheds light on your specific needs, whether retainers are the best fit, and what potential challenges or alternatives might exist.
Consultation prevents detours and maximizes your chances of a confident, long-lasting result.
2. Orthodontic Assessment
During your orthodontic assessment, prepare for a thorough examination of your bite and teeth. The orthodontist takes a close look at how a retainer might fit and function. X-rays and scans may be taken to assess jawbone structure and potential complications.
This detailed review ensures clear retainers are the right course for your unique smile, preventing surprises such as unwanted teeth shifting down the road. Your orthodontist will also decide at this point if you might need a Hawley retainer on teeth or a permanent retainer.
3. Digital Impressions or Molding
Capturing the unique contours of your teeth is key for custom clear retainers. You might encounter the familiar dental putty for impressions, ensuring every detail is captured. Alternatively, some dentists utilize advanced scanners, creating precise 3D models of your teeth in a flash.
Regardless of the method, the goal is the same: crafting retainers that fit perfectly and effectively keep your teeth in their perfect positions.
4. Treatment Planning
After gathering all the intel from your assessment, your orthodontist crafts a personalized treatment plan. This blueprint maps out the precise positions of your teeth to make the set of retainers. The plan also establishes your wear schedule and frequency of checkups, ensuring your teeth alignment is preserved.
Discover insights on when should you stop wearing my retainer within our comprehensive guide on the subject.
5. Clear Retainer Fabrication
Based on the precise 3D models from your impressions, advanced technology meticulously crafts each set of retainers. Medical-grade plastic is shaped into replicas of your teeth. This meticulous process ensures a custom fit tailored for your mouth and effective prevention of teeth movement.
6. Fitting Appointment
Your fitting appointment is where you meet your new smile protectors – your custom clear retainers. Your orthodontist will ensure they comfortably fit as they should, demonstrating proper insertion and removal techniques.
It’s your chance to ask any questions and address any concerns, like potential problems with retainer fit. But fear not, most minor adjustments can be easily made on the spot.
7. Adherence and Follow-Up
Wearing your retainers for the prescribed time each day fuels their magic. Skipping days can result in unwanted movement. Regular checkups with your orthodontist ensure your retainers are working effectively. Any tooth movement is detected on time, any necessary adjustments required are made. Consistency and compliance pave the way for a dazzling, long-lasting smile!
8. Monitoring Progress
Throughout your treatment, your orthodontist closely monitors progress. Regular checkups involve examining your teeth and retainers, assessing any tooth movement, and ensuring everything stays on track.
X-rays or scans may be used for a deeper look, and adjustments might be made to your treatment plan if needed.
How We Chose The Best Clear Retainers
In selecting the best clear retainers, I considered various criteria to ensure a comprehensive evaluation:
- Price: I assessed the affordability of clear retainers, considering the budgetary constraints of users.
- Financing Options: Examining available financing plans provided insight into the flexibility and accessibility of payment methods.
- Personalization: The degree to which retainers were customizable to fit individual dental needs played a significant role in our evaluation.
- Treatment Length: I also evaluated the estimated treatment duration, providing transparency on the time commitment required.
- User Feedback: Real user experiences and reviews offered valuable insights into the overall satisfaction and effectiveness of each retainer.
- Additional Services: I considered any supplementary services or offerings provided alongside the retainers, enhancing the overall customer experience.
- Comfort: The comfort level of wearing clear retainers was a crucial factor, ensuring a positive user experience.
- Professional Oversight: The presence of professional guidance and oversight in the treatment process added credibility and reliability to the chosen brands.
- Durability: I examined the durability of the retainers to guarantee a long-lasting solution for maintaining orthodontic results.
- Brand Credibility: The reputation and credibility of the brand played a pivotal role in establishing the trustworthiness of the chosen clear retainers.
Can You Get A Retainer Without Braces?
Yes! You can get retainers after completing other orthodontic treatments like Invisalign or at-home aligners, not just braces.
Are clear retainers as effective as traditional wire retainers?
Both options effectively maintain tooth alignment, but clear retainers offer superior comfort and discretion.
How is a clear retainer made?
Clear retainers are typically made from medical-grade plastic, molded to your teeth using digital scans or impressions.
Can you see clear retainers when someone is wearing them?
Clear retainers are practically invisible! Most people won’t notice them unless they’re looking closely.
Can a clear retainer be worn during physical activities or sports?
While some recommend avoiding contact sports, most clear retainers can handle moderate physical activity.
Are clear retainers suitable for everyone?
Not everyone is a candidate for clear retainers. Consult your dentist to determine if they’re right for you.
How long does it take to get used to wearing a clear retainer?
Adjustment time varies, but most people get used to them within a few days.
Can I sleep with a clear retainer on?
Absolutely! Wearing them at night is often recommended for optimal results.
Will a clear retainer affect the results of teeth whitening treatments?
No, whitening treatments can be done while wearing your retainers for added brightening power