Orthodontic care is not cheap, and retainers following treatment with aligners are no different. A high-quality retainer could cost thousands of dollars, while a decent retainer could cost several hundred. Purchasing this important orthodontic device can be a daunting task for some people.

How much retainers cost depends on several factors. Luckily, you can take several steps to ensure you save money and keep your smile. Learn about leveraging the power of choice to save thousands of dollars on your retainer.

1) Find the right orthodontist

Some people take their orthodontic care for granted and assume there aren’t many differences between orthodontists. On the contrary, picking the right orthodontist may be the most important step toward lowering your cost of care. Find an office that accepts your insurance. If necessary, you may be able to find an orthodontist who offers payment plans for retainers. One orthodontist may charge far more than another for a similar retainer. If the orthodontist you choose provides products that are too expensive, take advantage of their expertise to ask where you can find more budget-friendly services. Consider all of these factors when searching for the best way to save money on your retainer. 

2) Consider removable retainers

A permanent retainer can cost $1,000 or more for the top and bottom teeth. They have a lifespan of up to 20 years, but this cost could be hard to face for some people. Permanent retainers may offer continuous retention but may also present expensive repair and replacement costs later on. Removable retainers, meanwhile, could cost anywhere from $150 to $600. Maintenance is generally less costly than permanent options as long as you closely adhere to your orthodontist’s treatment plan.

3) Shop around for the best options

There is nothing wrong with taking some extra time to go shopping. Evaluate multiple quoted prices and options from different providers to compare prices. When looking to save, it is essential to consider the quality of the retainer. Be careful not to settle for the cheapest option simply because you want to save as much as possible. An ultra-budget retainer could degrade far more quickly than a decent retainer, leading to more expensive costs over time. When going through your shopping list, make sure quality has a place in your priorities. 

4) Maintain good oral health

It’s not sexy advice, but it may be the most important: good oral health is the easiest way to save money on retainers. A retainer, permanent or otherwise, makes a home in your mouth. The retainer will degrade and lose effectiveness if that home is left in disarray. The most expensive mistake you can make is failing to care for your mouth and buying a replacement retainer within a few years.

Brush twice daily, floss consistently, maintain a good diet and take your oral health seriously. Keeping your retainer viable is a big responsibility, and doing your job could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Bottom line

Orthodontic care is expensive, but there are many steps you can take to save as much money as possible. Find an orthodontist who fits your financial needs. Decide whether a permanent or removable retainer is the best fit. Shop for a variety of options. And keep your oral health in optimal condition. Considering what clear aligners cost, it’s worth it to stay healthy.