Orthodontics LA

How Long Should My Retainer Last?

Posted on October 3, 2023

orthodontic treatment

If the final stage of your orthodontic treatment is wearing a retainer, you might be wondering how long the device will last. A lot of retainer users wear theirs every night for the first year after their orthodontist treatment as advised by their orthodontist. This frequency can lead to more wear and tear on the retainer compared to retainers worn after the first year, which can typically be worn about three to five times a week. Let’s take a closer look at what can impact how long your retainer lasts.

It Depends on How Often You Wear It

When you use any item every day, it won’t last as long as something that you use every once in a while. The same is true when it comes to orthodontic devices like retainers. Because most orthodontic treatment patients are directed to wear their retainers every night, the wear and tear on the device can cause rapid deterioration. This is why your first retainer may not last as long as your second.

The Average Lifespan

The average lifespan for a retainer is between five to 10 years before it needs to be replaced. Depending on your orthodontic treatment and when you received it, you may not need to replace your retainer. This is most often the case with kids, who may only need to wear their retainers for about 10 years. However, if you were a teenager or adult when you underwent your orthodontic treatment, your retainer will be your life-long friend.

How Well You Take Care of It Will Make a Difference

To make sure your retainer lasts as long as possible, it’s important to take proper care of it. This includes cleaning your retainer regularly, soaking it in a retainer cleaner, and carefully putting it on and off. Additionally, you want to avoid eating when you have your retainer in, especially when eating and drinking hot beverages or foods.

If you or your child has undergone orthodontic treatment and you’re ready to get started wearing your first retainer, now you know what to expect! For more information on how to properly take care of your retainer or to schedule an appointment with our team, don’t hesitate to reach out to Orthodontics LA today.