I have heard the clear retainers are only good for one year. So what do I do now?

Okay so its going to be a year soon that I got my braces off and I have a clear retainer. Its has some cracks on it. But my question is what now?

Doctor Answers 4

Keep your Smile Straight!

Thank you for the question. We recommend patients wear retainers nightly to keep the teeth in the same position they were in when the braces came off.  Retainers will typically be last for 1-2 years before they need to be replaced. Factors that can influence how long a retainer will last are the patients bite and if they grind or clench their teeth. Once a retainer has holes or cracks it looses its integrity and its effectiveness. Consistent retainer wear is a lifelong commitment and replacing a retainer is much easier than redoing braces. 

Thank you,

Dr. Gary Michaelson


Retainers are extremely important to keep your teeth where they are after the braces come off. I like to tell my patients that retainers are really a lifetime commitment and investment. Retainers need to be replaced once they are worn down or cracked. It is much simpler and less expensive to replace a retainer every year or couple of years versus having to go through braces again. Like everything else in our bodies, it requires maintenance to stay in perfect condition. 

Sounds like you are very compliant with your retainers - keep it up! 


Dr. Pam  

Pamela Steiger, DMD
Boca Raton Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Let's Talk Teeth

Dear jess_alon15,

Thank you for posting your question on RealSelf.  I will do my best to answer your question with the information provided. 

I recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor that completed your case. It is possible that your grinding or clenching your teeth at night. There are alternative retainer options. 

Good luck and I hope that this helps. 

Dr. Jenn

Jennifer S. Stachel, DMD
New York Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Clear Retainers Should be Replaced every year..

Hello There,

Thank you for your question. Clear retainers are usually good for 6-12 months and then need to be replaced in order to keep your teeth from shifting.

I suggest to go to your dentist and get an impression done for new retainers. If your retainers were done through Invisalign they may already have your records on file. Through Invisalign you may purchase one or do a pack of 4 (vivera retainers) that may last you up to 4 years.

Hope this answered your question. Good Luck!

Victoria Veytsman, DDS
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.