How Long Do Retainers Last? Everything You Need to Know

27 November 2023

Image of Zenyum retainers

Retainers play a crucial role in keeping your smile straight after invisible braces treatment. They are important in ensuring your teeth stay in their new, straightened positions. However, have you ever wondered what types of retainers there are and why they may not last? Learn more about retainers and how to care for your retainers in this blog.

How long do different types of retainers last?

To maintain the hard-earned results you’ve earned from months of invisible braces treatment, retainers are necessary to keep your smile in shape. However, bear in mind that the type of retainer your treating dentist prescribes will determine how long your retainers last. Let’s look at the types of retainers there are.

Clear Retainers

Clear retainers last up to 6 months or more depending on a patient’s usage. Their discreet appearance makes them a popular choice among many individuals who have just completed their braces treatment. When it comes to wearing them on a daily basis, clear retainers are a more convenient option to maintain your smile for life. Being easily removable, it’s hassle-free and fits in seamlessly with any lifestyle. Zenyum retainers help keep your smile straight, with the added benefit of a 1-month warranty for assurance.

Hawley Retainers

A pair of hawley retainers with visible brackets

Hawley retainers are known for their durability as they are made of acrylic and metal wire. They can last for several years with the right care and attention, ensuring that they keep your teeth straight effectively. Compared to clear retainers, a Hawley retainer is more noticeable than other retainers. As the wire sits in the front, it may be more visible when someone smiles or talks. For a more discreet way to maintain your new smile, clear retainers may be the more suitable option.

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers fitted across teeth for reducing teeth movement

Permanent retainers are known for being able to reduce teeth movement and remain in a patient’s mouth for a long time. Removable retainers may be prescribed as an addition to removable retainers, or as advised by your treating dentist. While they may require maintenance from time to time, they can serve their function for many years.

Why do you need to replace your retainers?

Retainers are essential in maintaining that perfect smile, but what could cause them to wear out prematurely? Just like any other device, normal wear and tear can take its toll on retainers. Not caring for your retainers properly can result in breakage. Retainers that are damaged may cause them to lose their effectiveness, and cause your teeth to shift significantly. Some individuals may have a stronger bite force, leading to premature cracks and more frequent replacements.  

How to look after your retainers

From proper cleaning to safe storage, practising good retainer care can help extend the lifespan of your retainers and ensure they are effective in keeping your smile straight. 


Here are some valuable tips on how to care for your retainers: 


Tip 1: Clean your retainer with a soft toothbrush and mild soap 

Tip 2: Keep your retainers safe. Store them in a protective case to prevent damage. 

Tip 3: Handle them with care to prevent them from bending or breaking. 

Tip 4: Keep retainers away from hot water and direct sunlight, as these can cause retainers to warp or become discoloured.


How often should retainers be replaced?

It depends on how well a patient cares for their retainers and the treating dentist’s instructions. Hawley retainers may last for several years, while clear retainers need to be replaced every 6 months. Permanent retainers can last many years with good maintenance.

What should I do if my retainer breaks or gets damaged?

Contact your dentist immediately for an appointment to get a replacement made or repaired.

How long do Zenyum retainers last?

Zenyum retainers are made of medical-grade clear plastic and can last for 6 months.

Preserve your new smile

Choose Zenyum retainers to keep your smile straight

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