How Long Should My Orthodontic Retainer Last?
This is a hard questions to answer. There is many factors that go in to determining how long the retainer will last.
Care for Retainer- Essix style retainers can yellow in time if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. To prevent your retainers we recommend using a quality cleaning product like fresh guard twice a week. A cleaner will remove all the bacteria and keep your retainers from yellowing and becoming brittle.
Properly taking the retainer off- The most common way for your retainers to break is when you are removing them. When removing the retainers you want to use two hands and put equal pressure on both sides of the retainer. If you only grab from one side of the retainers it will twist the retainer this can cause it to break. There is no way to repair an Essix retainer after it has cracked, they will need to be replaced.
Material used to make retainer- There is a few different brand for clear retainers. At SportingSmiles we use only genuine Essix material. Essix retainers can be made from standard Essix material or from there Essix Plus material. The Essix Plus is a stronger material and will hold up better than the standard material.
Tooth Structure- Everyone’s tooth structure is different. If there is a gap between the teeth this can be weak point for the retainers. You want to be extra careful when removing the retainer if you have a gap between your teeth.
Teeth Grinding- Retainers are not designed to take the stress from teeth grinding or clenching. Teeth grinding can shorten the life span of the retainer significantly. If you are a teeth grinding you might want to upgrade to the Essix Plus material, It will handle the force that teeth grinding puts on the retainer better than the standard Essix material.
We have had many customers who have had their Essix retainers for 5+ years. Taking good care of the retainers will extend their life span. It is also a good idea to have a backup set in case, they crack. Visit our site at SportingSmiles.com for more information on replacement retainers.