Sporting Smiles Review: Best Online Retainer Replacements out there?

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What’s worse than having to wear a retainer? Um, how bout going to the orthodontist and spending like $700 on your retainers before you’ve even worn them

If you’ve had orthodontic treatment in the past, you get it. Orthodontic retainers are custom-made devices that you get after braces, aligners, and other dental treatments. Essentially, they are used to help ensure your teeth stay straight for good.

Sometimes they’re fixed and permanent. But mostly, retainers are removable. And that’s where the problems can start. 

When I had retainers, I lost and broke them a few times. Depending on what age you get work done, you can also outgrow your set. Getting them replaced was a hassle — and it was super expensive.

Some people think that getting braces is a one-and-done thing. But it’s not. Assuming that once our teeth are aligned, they’ll stay perfect forever is just wishful thinking. You’ve got to stay vigilant!

If you’ve had any type of corrective dental work, retainers are just going to be part of your life. So if that’s the case, why not make it as easy and cost-effective as possible?

Having no choice but to visit an orthodontist in person is a thing of the past. Thanks to direct-to-consumer brands like Sporting Smile, anyone can fix their dental needs from the comfort of their homes (and without breaking the bank).

So, let’s look at Sporting Smiles and find out what type of service they offer. We’ll look at price, turnaround, the quality of materials they use in the retainers, and see what their customers say.

Table of Contents

Who is Sporting Smiles?

Aligners and some teeth whitening gel from Sporting Smiles
Aligners and some teeth whitening gel from Sporting Smiles. Sorry I'm bad at photography.

Sporting Smiles started operating out of a small dental office in Wisconsin back in 2009. Buuuut they were a little too successful, and nowadays they’ve outgrown that office and into a huge 10,000ft facility. In other words: they’re killin’ the game.

The brand’s goal is simple: to provide high-quality orthodontic products at affordable prices.

Quality dental products are expensive. Even if you have dental insurance, it won’t usually cover dental procedures. Sporting Smiles understood that a great smile was out of reach for many people, so they created custom dental and orthodontics that are accessible to everyone.

Creating custom lab-quality dental products at reasonable prices requires eliminating intermediaries, like the dentist. The thinking here is that Sporting Smiles doesn’t need to pay for a dental office, assistants, or an orthodontist’s time as part of their service. Instead, they can pass the savings down to the customers.

In 2011, Sporting Smiles designed a patented dual-arch adjustable dental impression tray. It was the first of its kind in the world and can adjust to any mouth size.

The adjustable tray solved a pressing issue with home impression kits because it made it easy to find the right size every time.

Another plus is that Sporting Smiles will keep your mold on record for a year. So, if you need to reorder, it’s all there and ready to go.

How does getting fitted for clear retainers online work?

Getting fitted for retainers with Sporting Smiles is fairly straightforward.

If you visit an orthodontist to get a retainer, they’ll take an impression of your teeth, send it off to a lab, and call you when it’s ready.

Sporting Smiles cuts out the intermediary by sending you a kit with everything you need to make an impression. The process is pretty simple:

Step 1:

Go to and order an impression kit. It’ll arrive in several days or so.

Step 2:

Make an impression of your teeth using the little kit they include, and send it back.

I, personally, found it straightforward, but it’s super important to remember that this step really is the most important.

Getting an accurate impression as you can is necessary for ensuring your retainers are both effective and comfortable. So if you mess up this part, Sporting Smiles will need to send it back to you, meaning the whole process will take longer. (On the bright side, I’ve read reviews from others customers saying Sporting Smiles hooked ’em up.)

There are a couple of things you can do to ensure your impression is perfect. Sporting Smile encourages users to take a photo of their impressions and send it over so they can highlight any problems before you post them off. 

Sporting Smiles’ mouth tray can adjust to fit anyone, with the ability to be widened, lengthened, narrowed, and shortened depending on the size of your mouth.

Once the mouth tray is fixed, you mix the putty from the kit, roll it into a cylinder shape, and place it into the mouth tray. Bite down on the putty, wait about 4 minutes for it to harden, and you should have a perfect mold to send off to Sporting Smiles.

sporting smiles impression kit
Mix the blue goop with the white goop, spread it in your impression kit, and bite down. EZ Squeezy.

Step 3:

Literally just wait. Sporting Smiles will work their magic and send a custom retainer back to you.

Are Sporting Smiles products safe and effective?

Yep. A common theme you’ll find here is that Sporting Smiles products are the same as you’d get from your dentist. And this includes the ingredients they use in their retainers (and other products).

There’s also no BPA, BPS, DEHP, or Latex. I only know two of those words, but acronyms scare me so that’s refreshing to hear.