Once you’ve committed to your choice of dental aligners, you’ll likely want some reassurance that you’re getting results that will last. However, a lot of that will depend on you, and whether you follow the instructions of your aligner provider to look after your new smile.
Every aligner provider will ask that you wear retainers once your treatment is complete, in order to prevent your teeth moving back into their old positions. However, retainer costs vary and you will need to replace them every now and then to keep them working at their best and to make sure they stay hygienic.
Some aligner providers will offer packages to make the aftercare service a little more palatable – no pun intended. Here’s a breakdown of the retainer costs for each aligner provider and any special services they offer to protect your smile once aligner treatment is complete.
UpSmiles recommends that you wear a retainer once you’ve finished treatment, but for how long will vary – they say that your dental professional will tell you once you’ve completed your treatment. You get one set of retainers included as part of your treatment package, but any replacements would need to be paid for. UpSmiles claims that their retainers can last between 1-3 years.
If you want the best protection from UpSmiles you can joint their Protection Plan. This costs a one-off charge of $549 and includes replacement retainers every six months (although you need to request them) for five years. After the five years you can speak to your dental professional to see if you still need a retainer. This package also covers the cost of replacing any lost retainers too.
With Basma, you’ll get a complimentary retainer with your treatment plan. Basma recommends that you wear this retainer all day, every day for the first two weeks after treatment, and then overnight every night for the next six months. You should then replace the retainer, and do so every six months. Basma says that you’ll need to wear a retainer for the rest of your life.
There’s no special plan, and Basma don’t publish the costs of replacing aligners, but they do say you can choose to visit your orthodontist for a fixed retainer if you would prefer.
NewSmile’s treatment plans also include your first set of retainers for free. NewSmile suggests that you wear your retainers for 22 hours a day for the first 6 months after your treatment – the most that any provider recommends. Many suggest 22 hours a day but only for the first two weeks.
After six months, NewSmile recommends that you move onto wearing them during evenings while you’re at home and while you sleep. Again this is longer than other providers recommend, which will stick to saying only wear them while you sleep.
NewSmile retainers, after your first free set, cost $149 and NewSmile suggest that you should replace them every six months. This is one of the more expensive options, but they do offer a discount of $75 if you buy two sets of retainers at once.
ClearCorrect is a little different to some of the other providers on this list, in that you can’t work directly with the provider. Instead you’ll need to find a dentist or orthodontist that works with ClearCorrect and apply for treatment through them.
That professional will then recommend a ClearCorrect plan for you, and their chosen plan will determine how many retainers you get. The Flex and Mini plans don’t include any retainers so you’ll have to pay for them, and the cost may vary depending on your needs. The One plan includes one set of retainers after treatment, the Two plan includes two sets and the Three plan – you guessed it – includes three sets.
Your provider may decide you need more work, and may recommend the Unlimited plan. As well as unlimited aligners, this also includes unlimited retainers for the duration of the five-year plan.
Byte have often been one of the more innovative aligner providers, being one of the first to offer at-night aligners and also providing customers with their vibrating HyperByte tool to speed up treatment. Which makes it a little surprising that they don’t offer anything particularly special when it comes to aftercare.
You do get a set free with your treatment plan, like you do with other providers. After that it’s $129 every six months, and you’re expected to wear them at night only once your treatment is complete.
Considered a no-frills aligner provider, AlignerCo is all about providing affordable treatment. And they do have a special offer to make your retainers a little cheaper too. You’ll get your first set free and then after that you’ll need to pay $199 for a set of retainers, although this includes an impression kit so that you get the retainers to match your new smile.
You can order up to 10 sets of retainers at once, and for each extra set of retainers you order at the same time as your first set, they’ll only cost $49. So you can stock up and get replacement retainers at a lower price than with any other provider.
Unlike almost every other aligner provider, SmileDirectClub do not give you a set of retainers for free as part of your treatment. Instead you’ll need to buy them, with one set costing $99. If you buy two at once then you’ll get a third set free, meaning it’s just $198 for three sets which should last you 18 months.
One thing that is in SmileDirectClub’s favor here is the Lifetime Guarantee. As long as you buy SmileDirectClub retainers every six months and can show that you’re wearing them as prescribed, you’ll qualify for a free aligner touch-up each year if you need one to keep your smile in the perfect position.
Candid don’t provide you with a new retainer as part of your treatment plan, but instead tell you to use your last set of aligners as a retainer for the first six months. Their instructions are to wear the last set for six weeks for the full amount of time, before reducing it to 8 hours a night indefinitely.
You can buy a new set of retainers every six months from Candid for $99. One benefit over other providers is that Candid includes a free whitening foam with every retainer set sold, so you can brighten your new smile as well as keep it in its new position.
SmileLove retainers are included in the cost of your original treatment, and you can buy more too for a price of $195, which includes an impression kit. What’s interesting here is that SmileLove say that you don’t need to be a customer of SmileLove’s aligners to get their retainers – that’s why you get an impression kit included.
No matter how your smile has moved, you can choose to maintain it with SmileLove’s retainers. Because they’re custom made from an impression kit, they do take 3-6 weeks to produce.
SnapCorrect don’t have any special offers for their aligners, but they do keep the pricing simple. You get a free set with your treatment plan, and then replacement sets will cost you $95.
The only difference with SnapCorrect is the lifespan of their retainers. They say that you should expect them to last between three and six months. With other providers it’s a flat six months, so just be warned that you may need to replace SnapCorrect retainers more often.
Need a little more help to decide which aligner provider is right for you? Aftercare is important, but so too is the experience before your treatment starts, and while you’re wearing the aligners. Check out our reviews to learn more about your different aligner provider options.