Do you find that your clear retainers are often cracking or breaking? Even with a low-cost provider like SportingSmiles, regularly replacing retainers that are supposed to last you several years can quickly become an unwanted expense. Learning some techniques to prevent dental retainers from breaking can save you lots of money in the long run.

Prevent Retainers breakingOne of the few downsides of Essix retainers is that they are fragile and can easily break if not properly cared for. The most common reason retainers break is improper removal. The second most common way in which retainers are broken is improper handling while cleaning. However, if you read our guide and properly care for your Essix retainer, you should be able to get well over 2 years of use out of it.

5 Ways to Prevent Dental Retainers from Breaking

Essix Plus retainers are made from a material that is two times stronger than standard Essix retainers and the same thickness. If you find yourself regularly breaking your retainer by accidentally damaging it, then it may well be worth investing in an Essix Plus retainer.

Remove Correctly

Incorrect removal can put unnecessary strain on your retainer that will eventually lead to cracking or breaking if not corrected. To correctly remove your retainer, use one finger on each side to prevent flexing and twisting as you pull the retainer out of your mouth. Once removed, either cup gently and clean or directly place the retainer into its container.

Support During Cleaning

Holding the retainer incorrectly during the cleaning process is another easy way to put stress on your retainer. When brushing the retainer, you don’t want to hold on to one side and brush the other side, as this will create uneven pressure and flexing. You want to support the retainer in your hand or on a towel when brushing, ensuring that the pressure is applied evenly throughout.

Clean Correctly

Improper cleaning technique can serve to weaken the material of your retainer. This makes it easier for it to perish and crack over time. Using an alcohol-based mouthwash to clean your retainers should always be avoided. The alcohol in mouthwash will dry out and damage the retainers. We recommend using Freshguard when cleaning your retainers. We have a video on youtube showing how this is done.


When not in use, your retainers should always be stored correctly to protect against damage. The storage case is designed to protect the retainer from environmental damage, as well as any accidental impact or hungry pets. Even when in the case though, remember to keep the retainers well out of reach of pets. They love retainers, and sometimes they will chew through the case just to get to them!

Upper + Lower Dental RetainersUpper + Lower Dental Retainers

With the proper care and attention, your retainer can last for many years. However, we understand that sometimes life happens and unavoidable damage to your retainer can occur. That’s why we have worked hard to bring down the price of retainers, and offer discounts on a second pair. We think that you should always have a replacement ready to go while you wait for your new set. If your retainers have broken, please visit for a replacement.

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