Long term use of retainers

If you have finished with your orthodontic treatment and are wearing retainers (or will be soon), this is a special place to connect with others in your (enviable) situation. Ask a question or make a comment about life post-braces.

Moderator: bbsadmin

Post Reply
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:56 pm

Long term use of retainers

#1 Post by sean83 »


I don't suppose many people check back on here 4 years after having their braces off, but someone may be able to advise.

So 4 years on and I'm still wearing my Essix retainers maybe 3 nights a week. I'd love to cut down more but on occasions when I have gone 4-5 days without wearing them they've been quite difficult to get back in.

My question I suppose is how long I should reasonably expect Essix retainers to last? Will I ever need a new set or by that time will I just not need them any more?

What has triggered my concern is that I have had two gum infections in the space of a month and I am wondering if perhaps my retainers aren't as hygienic as they once were and may be causing this?

Any thoughts or experiences of long term use of retainers?

Posts: 1224
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:05 pm

Re: Long term use of retainers

#2 Post by Snowglobe32 »

Are you cleaning your retainers every day? If so, what are you using to clean them?

Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:22 pm
Location: West Virginia

Re: Long term use of retainers

#3 Post by Bikerchick85 »

I'm not in retainers yet for this treatment (my third) but having retainers before I thought I'd chime in...
As long as you want straight teeth, you need retainers. Retention is a life long commitment as teeth naturally crowd with age.
I'm surprised your essix retainers have lasted 4 years from what I've read about them deteriorating. I would think a fresh set would help retain your teeth better. I'm thinking of doing the vivera program when my braces come off so I'll always have a fresh set. And I am wearing those suckers for the rest of my life. I'm not going through another treatment come hell or high water! :)


MY STORY.. http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=43860

*4 Premolar Extractions-Nov. 29th, 2012*
*Upper Ceramic Braces-Dec. 11, 2012*
*Lower Metal Braces-Feb. 11th, 2013*
*Est. Sentence-24 months*

Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: Long term use of retainers

#4 Post by sean83 »

Thank you for your posts.

Snowglobe32 I brush them with water after every use, and after a few uses I use a Retainer Brite tablet. I admit I could do better in this department and have been considering trying an electronic ultrasonic cleaner.

Bikerchick85 I fully intend to wear mine as long as I feel I need to - definitely don't want to go down that route! I may look into the possibility of getting them replaced. Hope it's third time lucky for you :)

I know that when my current gum infection subsides the retainers will be very tight (obviously not wearing them for the moment) but also worried that they may cause another infection no matter how much Retainer Brite I use!
It's all gone a bit dental...

Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:30 am

Re: Long term use of retainers

#5 Post by kittenpoint »

Instead of Retainer Brite could you maybe use a little bit of peroxide or rubbing alcohol to disinfect the retainers. I'm not sure what would damage the retainers but maybe letting them soak for a few minutes before rinsing them with water might help with the infections. I wonder if you might be having a reaction to the Retainer Brite.

I know this isn't the same material but when my mom used denture cleaner on her dentures they didn't come out very clean, even with brushing; now she uses diluted peroxide and they're much cleaner.
Invisalign Started - 2/12/2014
25/25U - 5 Attachments
25/25L - 7 Attachments + 2 Metal Buttons
Elastics Started - Bears - 4/3/2014 | Latex Problem - Switched to Latex Free Jellyfish - 8/7/2014
Attachments Removed - 1/5/2015
Elastics Finished 2/9/2015
Bonded Upper Retainer - 2/9/2015
Removable Hawley Retainers - 3/5/2015

Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:41 pm

Re: Long term use of retainers

#6 Post by Labguy »

Essix retainers are only good for about a year

Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Long term use of retainers

#7 Post by bracedincollege? »

I still have an upper essix retainer that I've been wearing on and off for the past 6 years, but it's one that the ortho made particularly thick for long-tern nighttime wear. Essentially all the others that I've had have broken after 2-3 years max, but I would assume that if they're not broken or completely disgusting, long-term wear would be okay.

Post Reply