HOW LONG WILL MY RETAINER, ALIGNER OR NIGHT GUARD LAST?
Many people may not know how long their appliance will last. How long it lasts, however, depends on what it is designed to do as well as how it’s looked after.
Learn how you can take care of your retainer, aligner or night guard to help ensure it lasts for as long as it is needed to do its job.
How long do retainers, aligners or night guards actually last?
The life span of your dental appliance will vary widely, as ultimately it depends on what job it’s designed to do. However, you can help ensure your appliance lasts as long as it is supposed to by taking care of it.
How often should my retainer, aligner or night guard be replaced?
Your dental health professional will be able to advise on when your appliance needs replacing. So, remember to keep up with your regular dental reviews.
What signs should I look out for?
In between regular dental reviews, there are a number of signs that your retainer, aligner or night guard may need to be adjusted or replaced which you should contact your dental health professional about.
SIGNS IT MAY NEED TO BE ADJUSTED
- It feels uncomfortable
If your retainer, aligner or night guard feels different to how it fitted before, it is important to get it checked by your dental health professional
- Wear and tear or damage
Over time, your retainer, aligner or night guard can become damaged. It may fade, discolour or crack or the shape may become distorted. It is important to look closely at your removable dental appliance every now and again and always ask your dental health professional to check if you notice any change.
SIGNS IT MAY NEED TO BE CLEANED
- Bad odours from your retainer
Retainers not smelling fresh may be a sign that bacteria is growing on your retainer, aligner or night guard. If the smell persists, even after effective cleaning, please ask your dental health professional for advice. Learn more about why it is important to keep retainers, aligners and night guard clean.
SIGNS TO ASK YOUR DENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL ABOUT YOUR APPLIANCE
- Are there small cracks?
- Does it feel loose?
- Does it not fit as it did before?
How can I help my retainer, aligner or night guard last as long as possible?
One of the most important things you can do is clean your retainer, aligner or night guard on a daily basis. Using a cleansing solution once a day will help ensure your removable dental appliance is clean.
You may like to read How should I clean my retainer, aligner or night guard? as a reminder.
It is a good idea to use a case to keep your retainer, aligner or night guard safe when it is not being worn as well as regularly visiting your dental health professional so they can check the fit and condition of your removable dental appliance and the health of your teeth.
What should I do if I break or lose my retainer, aligner or night guard?
If you have a problem with your removable dental appliance you should contact your dental health professional as soon as possible and get an appointment. If you have a period where it is not worn, or if it is broken, this may have an impact on the alignment or safeguarding of your teeth. Please ask your dental health professional for advice on repair or replacement of your appliance.
Can I repair my retainer, aligner or night guard myself?
Do not be tempted to carry out any repairs or use household glues as many contain substances which should not be ingested or be in contact with your mouth. The best thing to do is to always ask your dental health professional for advice.
Tips to help your retainer, aligner or night guard last
1. Always use two hands when removing your appliance
Twisting or pulling on one side can place unnecessary stress on your appliance which may distort, crack or break your retainer, aligner or night guard.
2. Making cleaning a regular daily habit
Using a cleanser solution, like Polident Retainer & Mouthguard cleansing tablets, followed by brushing with a soft bristled brush will help ensure your removable dental appliance is clean.
3. Store in a case
Help to protect your retainer, aligner and night guard when it is not being worn.
4. Keep out of reach of children and pets
Always keep your removable dental appliance out of reach of pets or children.
5. Visit your dental health professional regularly
Book an appointment with your dental health professional if your retainer, aligner or night guard is showing wear or starting to feel less comfortable. Always follow your dental health professional’s instructions so you know how long to wear it each day and how to clean it so it lasts as long as possible.