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Retainers are a crucial part of the orthodontic journey, helping to maintain the position of your teeth after braces or other orthodontic treatments. At Walt Orthodontics, we understand the importance of retainers in ensuring the lasting success of orthodontic treatment. This blog article explores the lifespan of retainers and offers tips on how to extend their durability.

Understanding Retainers

Retainers come in various types, including fixed and removable options. Fixed retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth, while removable retainers can be taken out for eating and cleaning. Both types play a vital role in preventing teeth from gradually shifting back to their original positions.

Lifespan of Retainers

The lifespan of a retainer can vary significantly based on its type, the material it’s made from, and how well it’s cared for. On average, removable retainers can last several years with proper maintenance, while fixed retainers might last even longer, sometimes remaining in place for decades.

  • Removable Retainers: According to MedicineNet, removable retainers typically last for 2 to 6 years before needing replacement. However, this can vary based on the retainer’s material and the wearer’s habits. While Hawley retainers are more durable and can last several years, they do not keep the teeth as straight as an Essix. Our recommendation is to get a new essix retainer every year.
  • Fixed Retainers: Fixed retainers have the potential to last a lifetime if they are not damaged and if the adhesive remains intact. Regular dental check-ups are essential to ensure their longevity.
  • A study published on PubMed and further detailed in NCBI explores clinical factors affecting the longevity of fixed retainers. This research underscores the importance of material choice, oral hygiene, and regular dental follow-ups in extending the life of these orthodontic devices.

Extending the Life of Your Retainers

To maximize the lifespan of your retainers, consider the following tips:

  • Clean Regularly: Proper hygiene is crucial. Clean your retainers as recommended by your orthodontist to prevent buildup and degradation of the material.
  • Handle with Care: Be gentle when removing and inserting removable retainers to avoid bending or breaking them.
  • Store Safely: When not in use, store your removable retainers in a protective case to prevent damage.
  • Avoid Heat: High temperatures can warp retainers, so avoid leaving them in hot environments, such as a car on a sunny day.


Retainers are an essential investment in maintaining your orthodontic results. With proper care, they can last for many years, ensuring that your smile remains straight and beautiful. At Walt Orthodontics, we are committed to guiding our patients through every step of their orthodontic journey, including providing the best care for their retainers.

If you have questions about your retainers or need advice on their maintenance, we invite you to contact us for more information. Our team is here to support you in achieving and maintaining the perfect smile.

In-Person Consultation

Use our handy online scheduler below to choose the date and time that works best for your initial complimentary consultation appointment!

Please note that while initial orthodontic consultations are complimentary, if you recently completed orthodontic treatment or currently are in active appliances with another provider, seeking a replacement/repair for a retainer, or looking to schedule a second consult after your initial one there is a fee for the consultation. Please contact us for more information.

Alternatively, please contact our office directly by phone/text if you are trying to book multiple consultations at the same time or are seeking consultation further out than 12 weeks.

Please note – If none of the available times on our online scheduler work for you we do have other consultation times available. Please contact us directly for more information.

Virtual Consultation

Skip the office visit and have your free consultation from the comfort of your home. The start to your beautiful smile is just a few photos and clicks away.

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When it comes to financing there’s no one size fits all solution. Likewise, there is no singular solution when it comes to financing. At LendCare, we get that and go deeper to understand your unique story and offer flexible options that work best for you, given your current financial situation. That means you get affordable financing, even if your credit is anything but top-tier.

Walt Orthodontics is pleased to offer interest-free payments up to 30 months. If you require payments over 30 months we are happy to offer the LendCare solution.


Dr. Walt received his dental (DDS) degree from the University of Western Ontario, graduating first in his class and receiving the Gold Medal as well as numerous awards recognizing his scholastic and clinical achievements, leadership and character. He then completed his orthodontic training at the University of Colorado, where he received both his Specialty Certificate and Master of Science Degree. During his residency, he was awarded the Rocky Mountain Orthodontics Scholarship for overall excellence.

After graduating from residency and opening Walt Orthodontics in 2013, Dr. Walt committed himself to applying his traditional orthodontic education into the digital world to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience. He currently serves as a Faculty Member, Key Opinion Leader, and Advisory Board Member for Align Technology which involves traveling around the world to teach other orthodontists about Invisalign. Being at the forefront of digital orthodontics, Dr. Walt was invited to be the first orthodontist in Canada to use custom LightForce braces. He also serves as an Orthodontic Coach/Mentor for other orthodontists looking to improve their knowledge of digital orthodontics.

In addition to practicing orthodontics, Dr. Walt is a “die-hard” Blue Jays fan and enjoys working out in his spare time.


Dr. Stephanie Grossman pursued her dental degree in sunny South Florida at Nova Southeastern University. She graduated with honours, at the top of her class, and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honour Society. She then completed her orthodontic training at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she received both a Specialty Certificate in Orthodontics and a Master of Science degree. She is both a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.

Dr. Grossman strives to provide the highest standard of orthodontic care for her patients. She attends numerous hours of continuing education and utilizes the latest advancements in orthodontics. Dr. Grossman is licensed to practice in both the United States and Canada.

Outside of the clinic, Dr. Grossman enjoys spending time with her friends and family and traveling the world. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and loves trying new restaurants!