What Will My Child’s Teeth Retainer Cost?


A retainer is an appliance that helps keep your kid’s teeth straight. It can be used alone or after orthodontic treatment. Depending on the type, their price ranges from $100 to $1,000.

To learn why your kid may need a retainer and also to understand its costs, take a look at the information provided below.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is a custom-fit oral appliance that helps maintain the corrected position and alignment of the teeth following orthodontic treatment. They are made of plastic or metal, and can be fixed or removable.

Retainers may also function to correct simple bite problems in lieu of orthodontic treatment. They may be used alone if the bite issue is minor and relatively easy to treat, like mild crowding of one or two teeth.

If a retainer is used following orthodontic treatment, its role is to ensure that the corrected bite and tooth position will not relapse or return to their pretreatment state.

What are the Different Types of Retainers?

Retainers come in different types, each one with a corresponding price:

  • Removable Hawley retainers are the most commonly used, and they cost around $150–$300 for a single dental arch (upper OR lower), or $300–$600 for both arches (upper AND lower). These retainers are fabricated using acrylic and held in place onto the teeth by wires.
  • Removable Essix retainers, another popular type of retainers, have pretty much the same price as Hawley. The typical cost is $100–$250 for a single arch and $200–$500 for both arches. These retainers are fabricated using clear plastic that is vacuum-sealed, and their main advantage is they are not as noticeable as the other types. The main downside, however, is that they easily break or deform. In such a case, you will have to get a new one.
  • Vivera® Clear Plastic retainers are recommended for use after Invisalign treatment. It is a bit pricier than the first two types, costing $300–$750 per year including the replacements every three months. According to its manufacturers, Vivera® is 30-50% stronger than more durable than other brands or kinds of clear retainers.
  • Bonded retainers, as the name suggests, is a type of retainer permanently bonded or fixed onto the teeth. It utilizes a braided metal wire attached to the teeth using composite (the tooth-colored filling) or some other glue or bonding material. It costs $250-$500 for a single arch, or $500-$1,000 for both arches.

The recommended type of retainer for your kid’s case depends on the severity of the crowding and his or her compliance in wearing it. The price, meanwhile, depends on the type that will be used.

Looking for a dentist to recommend the correct retainers? Find a Kool Smiles partner dentist near you!