What to do with my old retainers?

Heys guys, I’m new here.
I started my teeth alignment journey 6 months ago. I have not missed a single day, even during COVID, I’ve kept up my routine.

I preserved and it paid off. The results have started to show and I’m happy with them. It feels good to fix up the issues that made you feel insecure your whole life. My smile has given me so much confidence.

During this time, I’ve ended up with a whole bunch of retainers. I’m the kind of person who even recycles the matchsticks. I don’t like wasting stuff especially something I’ve spent plenty of my money on.

Is there a way that these retainers can be used by someone else or just recycled? What do you guys do with your old & spare retainers?

The retainers can’t be used again. It would take too much work to sanitise them for recycling so for the most part, they are waste.

If you take it to your dentist they will be able to dispose of it properly. The problem with trying to do it yourself is that you don’t know the composition of plastics and metals used in the device.

It is best just to return it to the dental office for them to dispose of it.

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It’s a good point. We’ll try and find out what plastics are used and if they are recyclable.

Thanks for your post and welcome to the forums, Sarah! :grinning:

Hey Sarah! :slightly_smiling_face:

Aligners cannot be used by someone else since they are custom-made to fit only your teeth. It is usually best to discard of older aligners to avoid any confusion about which set of trays are most recent.

A great option would be to talk to your orthodontist and ask if they could be recyclable! That way you could be able to contribute to the environment :smiley:

As much as I am concerned about the environment, this is a product I don’t think should be recycled. It would have to go through a lot of cleaning and sanitising in order to be used for anything else!

Unfortunately, clear aligners are designed and made uniquely for each individual. Since we have different sizes and shapes of teeth your aligners can’t be used by another person.

I’m afraid you can’t let other people use your old retainers since it was specially designed for your teeth. It wouldn’t be a fit to others because they will surely have a different set of teeth compared to yours. Though I’m also curious if the plastic used with the aligners can be recycled. If you found out, please do let us know.

When the pandemic started I made a promise to reduce my plastic waste. I’ve been buying products that are recyclable. I got my aligner months ago and I forgot to consider if the material used can be reused.

Companies use plastic so I don’t think it’s recyclable. I hope they can develop a plastic that they can reuse as long as they make sure to disinfect it properly.

They haven’t made a material yet that can be reused.

With the continuous advancement of technology nowadays, I think they can develop or produce a material that can be reused to replace one use plastics.