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Maintaining a beautiful smile requires consistent care, especially after orthodontic treatment. One critical component of post-treatment care is wearing a retainer. Retainers help keep your teeth in their new positions, ensuring the investment you’ve made in your smile lasts a lifetime. However, retainers aren’t designed to last forever. In this article, we’ll explore how often you should replace your clear removable retainer. At Walt Orthodontics, we exclusively use premium Vivera Retainers.


Why Retainers Are Crucial

Once braces are removed or Invisalign treatment is completed, your teeth will naturally want to shift back to their original positions. Retainers counteract this by holding your teeth in place, giving your gums and bone time to settle into their new alignment. Without consistent use of a retainer, you risk undoing all the hard work and time invested in achieving a perfect smile.


How Often Should You Replace Your Retainer?

Ideally, a clear removable retainer should be replaced every year. However, they can last longer, depending on wear and care. Here are some factors that influence their lifespan:

  • Material Degradation: Over time, the plastic or acrylic can wear down, crack, or stretch.
  • Hygiene: Regular cleaning is essential, but even with the best care, materials can harbor bacteria or develop odors.
  • Fit: Teeth can shift subtly depending on how often the retainer was worn, causing the retainer to no longer fit perfectly.


Signs It’s Time for a New Retainer

  • Regardless of the type, certain signs indicate it’s time to replace your retainer:
    • Visible Wear or Cracks: Any damage can compromise the retainer’s effectiveness.
    • Poor Fit: If it feels loose or too tight, it’s not doing its job correctly.
    • Discoloration or Odor: Persistent issues even after cleaning suggest it’s time for a new one.
    • Discomfort: Any new discomfort or sores in your mouth should be checked.


Why Regular Replacement is Important

1. Effectiveness

A well-fitting retainer ensures your teeth remain in their desired positions. A damaged or ill-fitting retainer can’t provide the necessary support, risking a shift in your teeth.

2. Hygiene

Over time, even with meticulous cleaning, bacteria and plaque can build up on your retainer. This can lead to bad breath, gum disease, or tooth decay.

3. Comfort

A retainer in good condition is comfortable to wear. Cracks, wear, or an incorrect fit can cause irritation, sores, or general discomfort in your mouth.


Replacing your retainer is a vital aspect of maintaining your orthodontic results and oral health. By being proactive and attentive to your retainer’s condition, and ensuring that you change them yearly, you can be confident that your smile remains as perfect as the day your braces came off.

If you have any concerns about your retainer or think it might be time for a replacement, don’t hesitate to contact our office to review your options. We’re here to help you keep your smile beautiful for a lifetime!

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!