How to get a retainer from your own Molds.

Do you have your own molds from your dentist and want to get a replacement retainer made, but can’t find a company to make them? At we can use your existing molds, but there is some stipulations on using outside dental molds.

  1. No Warranty- We can’t warranty outside molds because we don’t know how old they are. The new retainers maybe made perfect, but your teeth may have shifted since the impression was taken.
  2. Damaged Impression- There is a chance your teeth mold can be damaged when the new retainer is being made. We will try our best for this not to happen, but there is a chance this could happen. Dental impressions can dry out in time and there are different qualities in dental stone. Also there is a chance they may get damaged in the mail.
  3. Same Cost- There is no discount on using your existing impression. There is often more work to correct your current impression than there is in making a new one.

Advantages of using our Impression Kit.

  1. Full Warranty- We will warranty the retainers fully to make sure that it fits correctly.
  2. Reorder- SportingSmiles keeps all impression for 1 year. Reorders are at a discounted price.
  3. Easy Impression Process- SportingSmiles have a patented dental impression tray that makes it extremely easy to take an impression. Video instructions are also available.

We recommend using our self-impression kit, but we can use your existing molds to make a retainers. Our different styles of retainers can be seen here:


Why do dogs eat retainers?

We hear at least 4-5x a week that “my dog ate my retainer!”

Dogs love to eat dental retainers
Dogs love to eat dental retainers

Dogs are attracted to the saliva, the smell, as well as the material that the retainers are made from.

The clear Essix style retainers are made from EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate). This is often the same type of vinyl found in a dogs chew toys.  It doesn’t take long for a dog of any size to destroy a retainer.

We recommend that you store your retainers in a case, in a cool dry place such as drawer, or a high location out of reach from your pet.

If your pet is prone to chewing up your retainers it is always a good idea to have a back-up pair to avoid any down time without your retainer.

Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers


At the re-order process is easy and efficient. Whether you need just the upper retainer, just the lower retainer, or both. We keep your impressions on file for at least 1 year to make re-ordering a snap!

How Long will my Clear Essix Retainers Last?

There is no good answer to this question. It’s different per person.  With care you can see 2-6 years with your clear essix retainers.  There is a few things you can do to extend the life of your retainers.

  1. Use two hands to remove them from your teeth. The twisting motion of pulling on one side of the retainers will put stress on them and can cause them to crack.
  2. When cleaning your retainers you want to support them in either your hand or place them on top of a towel on the countertop. This again prevents the twisting motion that can crack the retainers.
  3. Regular cleaning will help prevent the retainers from yellowing and getting brittle. We recommend using freshguard cleaner twice a week and brushing them after each use. Cleaning instructions can be found Here.
  4. Storing them in a case way from pets will also help. Pets love to chew on the plastic that the retainer and created from.
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers

If your retainers are cracking regularly you may want to upgrade to the essix plus material. It’s more durable material and will extend the life of the retainers. If you have questions about getting a replacement set of retainers please visit or email us at

How to Clean my Clear Essix Retainers.

If you clean and take care of your retainers they can last many years. Here are the steps to make sure your retainers is clean and fresh.

Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
  1. You want to clean your retainers with a soft bristle tooth brush and non-abrasive (non tarter control, or grit-less) tooth paste after ever use. If tooth paste isn’t available rinse the retainers in water before storing. Avoid cleaning or rinsing your retainer with any store bought mouth wash.
  2. We recommend using Freshguard to clean your retainers. Freshguard is available at most drug stores, or online. If freshguard isn’t available denture cleaning tablets can also be used.
  3. To use Freshguard follow the instruction on the box. Freshguard should be used at least twice a week.

This is the same process for cleaning your invisalign or other orthodontic appliance.


The Do’s and Do Nots’ of cleaning your Clear Essix Retainer:

Do use a soft bristle tooth brush to clean your retainer.

Don’t use abrasive or tartar control tooth paste. This will scratch and damage the retainers.

Do use Freshguard to rinse your retainer.

Don’t use mouthguard rinse to soak the retainer. The alcohol in the mouthguard will make the retainer brittle.

Do cup the retainer in your hand while brushing, or place it on a towel on the counter.

Don’t twist the retainer while brushing. The twisting motion will flex the retainer causing it to crack.


If you clean your retainer from the beginning it will prevent any buildup and or discoloration. After retainers start to discolor it can be difficult to get them back to being clear. If you have questions about cleaning your retainer contact SportingSmiles at

Why have a backup pair of Dental Retainers?

We have many customers that order 2 sets of retainers from us, or already have a set of retainers and are looking for a spare\backup pair. We recommend this for anyone that has retainers.

Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers

Here are a couple reasons why:

  1. Reorder Second Pair: We give about a 30% discount on getting an additional set.
  2. Retainers are fragile: A downside of essix retainers is that they are fragile and can crack. Instead of having to be in a rush to get a new set. It’s nice to have a second available.
  3. Cheap insurance: You may have paid thousands of dollars to have your teeth straighten. During the time when you’re looking for your old retainers or getting a replacement your teeth can shift.
  4. Dogs: Dogs love to eat retainers. We get 5-6 calls every week saying the dog ate their retainers. It would be nice to have a spare pair in case this happens to you.
  5. Clear: Having clear retainers is great for making them virtually invisible while on your teeth, but this feature makes them easily accidently thrown out.
  6. Cost: If you are in a rush to get replacement retainers and have to go to a dentist it can cost $300 – $600. For less than $100 you can get a replacement set from

Having your teeth straightened is an expensive and painful process. You want to make sure that your teeth stay as straight as possible and a set of backup retainers is a cheap way to insure your teeth don’t shift back to their old location if anything happens to your retainers.

Dental retainers after Goody Bands or Ortho fill have been used to close a Gap between teeth.

We have made many retainers for customers who have moved their teeth using goody bands, ortho fill, or other orthodontic band to close a gap between their two front teeth (diastema).

Using retainer to close gap between teeth
Using retainer to close gap between teeth

We always recommend having a dentist involved any time you are moving teeth, but if you are using the bands to close your teeth you want to get a retainer after the gap has been closed.This is the same for any proper orthodontic procedure

If you use goody bands or other bands to close a gap and you don’t use a retainer afterward the teeth will want to spring back to their original location. This is called elastic memory.

Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers

Our custom retainers require taking an impression of your teeth. You want to make sure that your teeth are in the position that you like when you take the impression. When taking the impression you want to watch our video and make sure that you don’t have the bands on when taking the impression.  While the retainer is being created you want to maintain the position of your teeth and not close the gap any further.

Cleaning Dental Retainers & Invisalign clear retainers

These instruction are designed for clear Essix retainers, but can also be used for Invisalign clear retainers.

You want to rinse the retainer in luke-warm water.  Using a soft bristle tooth brush and a non-abrasive tooth paste brush the guard softly. While brushing the guard you want to be careful not to crack the retainer. It works well to cup the retainer in your other hand while cleaning. This type of cleaning should be done regularly with your retainer.

For a deep clean we recommend using Fresh Guard soakfresh-guard-soak-cleaner. It’s made by Efferdent and can be found at most drug stores and large department stores.  Its normally less than 10$ for 24 packets and always seems to be printable coupons online.  After you brush your retainers. You want to pour one of the fresh guard packets in a cup of warm water. Then place your retainers in the solution for about 5 minutes. You will know the cleaning process is over by the Fresh Guard will change from a blue color to clear. When the solution turns clear you want to remove the retainers right away. Don’t leave the retainers in the solution longer than ten minutes. After removing rinse thoroughly and you retainer should be clear and clean.

How not to clean your retainers.

  1. Don’t soak in mouthwash. Mouthwash contains alcohol. The alcohol will dry out the retainer and damage it.
  2. Don’t use diluted bleach water. We have heard people using this method and it’s also not good for the retainers and can permanently give them a bleach taste.

If you have questions about cleaning your retainer or getting replacement retainers please contact SportingSmiles

Essix Retainer Frequently Asked Questions

Retainer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What’s the difference between Hawley wire retainers and Essix retainers?
A. The Hawley retainers are made from acrylic and use orthodontic wire to maintain the position of the teeth. Essix style retainers are clear and clip on to the teeth to prevent them from shifting. Essix retainers material is similar to the material used with Invisalign.

Q. How do I clean my retainer?
A. After removing the retainers you want to rinse them under water. They can be cleaned using a soft bristle tooth brush with non abrasive tooth paste. For a deep clean we recommend using Fresh Guard.

Q. If my retainer cracks can it be repaired?
A. Yes and no. If you have an acrylic Hawley retainer it can be repaired. If you have a clear Essix retainer it will have to be replaced.

Q. Will retainers straighten my teeth?
A. Retainers will not straighten your teeth. They will prevent them from shifting any further.

Q. I have a permanent fixed retainer can I still get an Essix retainer?
A. Yes, an Essix retainer can still be made if you have a permanent retainer bonded on your teeth. The Impression process is exactly the same. During creation dental lab technicians will block out the area where the wire is bonded.

Q. How do I remove my retainers?
A. You want to use two hands when removing the retainers and don’t want to twist them. Retainers are most likely to be broken while being removed.

Q. My Essix retainers are getting yellow. What can be done?
A. Some of our customers report having good luck removing the yellowing by user Retainer Brite.

Q. What is the cost of a  Essix Retainer?
A. The price of retainers vary depending on dentist and area of the country. We have seen prices from $300 – $650 for upper and lower retainers. We current sell upper and lower for $95 with shipping included.

Q. If my retainer cracks or is lost can I get a replacement?
A. Most dentist do not keep the impressions on file. They will make you go through the whole impression process again and charge standard pricing. With SportingSmiles retainers, we keep your impressions on file for 1 year after the reorder date.

Retainers After Orthodontic Bands

Orthodontic bands like Orthofill, Orthoband, and Ora-band are dental bands that are placed on the teeth to close the spaces between your teeth. These bands are worn at night and will slowly put pressure on the teeth to close the gap. There are different size bands depending on the gap you are trying to close.

After the desired gap is closed, a dental retainer is required to maintain the current position of your teeth.

At SportingSmiles we make custom retainers using our self impression kit.

SportingSmiles Impression Kit
SportingSmiles Impression Kit

From this impression we fabricate Essix retainers. Our retainers are available as either single retainers, or as upper and lower retainers. Just like orthodontic bands, the clear retainers are worn at night as you sleep.

Upper & Lower Dental Retainers
Upper & Lower Dental Retainers

The retainers will not move your teeth. They are just designed to prevent the teeth from moving back to there original location.

How To Prevent Clear Essix Retainer From Breaking

Clear Essix style retainers are fragile and can crack when not cared for properly.  With proper care retainers can last many years. Here is a list of steps that can help prolong the life span of your dental retainers.

1. Removing: When removing your retainers, use both hands and pull the retainers off the teeth. When the retainers twist they can break.

2. Cleaning: When cleaning your retainers you want to cup them in one hand and clean with with a soft bristle tooth brush with the other hand.  You do not want to brush them too hard. Soaking the retainers in Fresh Guard will make cleaning the retainers easier.

3. Make: Creation of the retainers is also important to the strength of the retainers. If you are missing a tooth or have a gap, it is a weak point on the retainers. You want to make sure that your retainers are made from a dental lab that is very familiar with the creation of Essix retainers.

4. Material: Until recently there was only one type of material whenessix-plus-doubleretainer-1-logo making retainers. This was the standard Essix ACE 1mm material. Essix now introduced their Essix Plus material. Essix Plus retainers are the same thickness as standard retainers but are crystal clear and more durable than standard Essix  retainers. You still have to be careful, but they are less prone to breakage.

Please visit for more information on replacement dental retainers.