Retainer Replacement: When, Why, and How to Get a New One
Retainers play a crucial role in maintaining the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. However, they don’t last forever and might need replacement at some point. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons for retainer replacement, the signs that you need a new one, and the steps to take when it’s time for a change.
What Are Retainers?
Retainers are used to ensure that teeth stay in place. There are two general kinds of retainers: removable and fixed, with the latter being bonded to upper or lower teeth for a more permanent solution.
Retainers can be used for several reasons. For example, after braces are removed the bone that holds our teeth rebuilds itself and retainers help maintain these positions of new teeth.
Retainers may also need to be worn during active orthodontic treatment as a way to ensure proper positioning throughout the process of shifting tooth position by using different techniques such as expansion or archwires.
Reasons for Retainer Replacement
If your retainer starts feeling loose, this is a sign that it’s time to replace it. The issue here is not with your teeth but rather the way they fit in relation to one another. If you’re no longer wearing them enough for them to be effective at keeping everything where you want and need it then why wear them? Loose retainers will not keep anything in place so best just toss em out.
Warped or Misshaped Retainer
Modern retainers are great, but those benefits come with a greater risk of them getting damaged or warped. Remember, a retainer that doesn’t fit does not work. A common issue is accidentally put it in the dishwasher or washing machine or you tried to use very hot water to clean it. Consider it unusable if this happens.
There are lots of reasons why you might not want to wear your retainer. Whether it’s because the mouthpiece is uncomfortable, or maybe there’s too much calcium buildup on it. This will seriously affect the efficiency of the device. Seek an appointment to rectify it.
There are plenty of reasons why you might lose your retainer, like moving or starting a new career. Because it’s an essential part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, don’t be discouraged if this happens to you; just get another one.
Find a safe place to keep your retainer while you sleep, like in the box it came in. If you lose your retainers for too long after losing them they will take an impression of all of your teeth so that new ones can be made and gently guide each tooth back into alignment with pressure from their metal frame.
Your clear retainer will stretch your teeth over time, causing them to become out of alignment. If you don’t get this fixed, the stretching will continue and cause more damage until they are misaligned completely.
Retainer fatigue is the reason why people can still experience some minor movement in their teeth even if they’re diligent about wearing their retainer. The simple truth is that your teeth are stronger than your clear retainer.
Steps to Take for Retainer Replacement
a) Consult with Your Orthodontist: If you suspect that you need a new retainer, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. They will assess your situation and determine if a replacement is necessary.
b) Take New Impressions: If your orthodontist recommends a new retainer, they will take new impressions of your teeth to ensure a perfect fit.
c) Choose the Right Type of Retainer: Discuss your options with your orthodontist to select the most suitable type of retainer for your needs.
d) Proper Maintenance and Care: To maximize the lifespan of your new retainer, follow your orthodontist’s instructions for proper cleaning, storage, and care.
Retainer replacement is a necessary part of maintaining your teeth’s alignment and overall oral health. By staying vigilant about the signs of retainer wear and tear, consulting with your orthodontist, and taking proper care of your new retainer, you can ensure that your smile stays beautiful and healthy for years to come.
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.