This is a hard questions to answer. There is many factors that go in to determining how long the retainer will last.
Care for Retainer- Essix style retainers can yellow in time if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. To prevent your retainers we recommend using a quality cleaning product like fresh guard twice a week. A cleaner will remove all the bacteria and keep your retainers from yellowing and becoming brittle.
Properly taking the retainer off- The most common way for your retainers to break is when you are removing them. When removing the retainers you want to use two hands and put equal pressure on both sides of the retainer. If you only grab from one side of the retainers it will twist the retainer this can cause it to break. There is no way to repair an Essix retainer after it has cracked, they will need to be replaced.
Material used to make retainer- There is a few different brand for clear retainers. At SportingSmiles we use only genuine Essix material. Essix retainers can be made from standard Essix material or from there Essix Plus material. The Essix Plus is a stronger material and will hold up better than the standard material.
Tooth Structure- Everyone’s tooth structure is different. If there is a gap between the teeth this can be weak point for the retainers. You want to be extra careful when removing the retainer if you have a gap between your teeth.
Teeth Grinding- Retainers are not designed to take the stress from teeth grinding or clenching. Teeth grinding can shorten the life span of the retainer significantly. If you are a teeth grinding you might want to upgrade to the Essix Plus material, It will handle the force that teeth grinding puts on the retainer better than the standard Essix material.
We have had many customers who have had their Essix retainers for 5+ years. Taking good care of the retainers will extend their life span. It is also a good idea to have a backup set in case, they crack. Visit our site at SportingSmiles.com for more information on replacement retainers.
Not all custom whitening trays are the same quality. They might be made of similar materials, but there are small differences that can make them more comfortable and effective.
First you want your whitening trays to have reservoirs. Reservoirs are small pockets that are on the whitening trays on the front of the tooth’s surface. These reservoirs allow for more room for the whitening gel to come in contact with the teeth. Whitening gel will naturally expand as it whitens the teeth. The reservoirs allow for the expansion of the whitening gel without the trays pulling away from your teeth.
If a low quality material is used to create the whitening trays then your trays can yellow quickly. All materials will yellow in time, but low quality material will yellow quicker. You want to use a good cleaning product like fresh guard by efferdent to prevent your whitening trays from yellowing.
The way the whitening trays are trimmed affect the comfort or the whitening trays. If the whitening trays are just trimmed straight across and don’t follow the contours of the teeth iy allows the bleaching gel to come in contact with the gums. You can experience a burning sensation of the gums and less of the gel will come in contact with the teeth lowering the effectiveness.
Did you know that you can use your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to get a backup or replacement dental clear retainers! Most FSA accounts will accept an invoice from SportingSmiles.com for replacement retainers. Please verify with your FSA account before purchasing. If you need a detailed invoice please ask and we can send you one that you can forward to your FSA provider.
Why use your FSA account?
Save Money– FSA accounts are pre-taxed. You don’t have to count the money in your FSA account as income on your taxes.
Use or Lose– Some FSA you need to use the money or you lose it. Why not get a spare retainer before the money goes away?
Easy to Use– When checking out from SportingSmiles.com just use you FSA debit card when purchasing.
At SportingSmiles we have 2 different types of retainers that you can purchase using your FSA account. We have the standard Essix clear retainers and the newer more durable Essix Plus retainers. Both retainers can be seen here.
If you have question about using your FSA account or purchasing dental retainers please contact us at Info@SportingSmiles.com