After you get your braces removed, chances are your orthodontist will advise you to wear a retainer in order to keep your new smile in place. In most cases, orthodontists recommend wearing a retainer all the time for the first six months to a year. After that, nightly wearing is recommended in order to prevent your teeth from shifting and keep your smile in place. Unfortunately, retainers don’t last forever and will likely need replacing every now and then. SportingSmiles offers these few signs that might mean you need a replacement retainer. And the good news is we can help get you one without needing an orthodontic appointment.
A Loose Retainer Typically Means You Need a Replacement
One of the biggest signs you need a new retainer is when it starts feeling loose. Over time, the plastic in retainers becomes fatigued and stretches. When this happens, it will begin to feel loose and no longer snug against your teeth. This means it is no longer able to keep your teeth from shifting and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Your Retainer No Longer Fits Correctly
Changes in retainer fit can happen for a variety of reasons. Because retainers are made of plastic, high heat temperatures can cause them to lose shape. Regular cleaning with very hot water can lead to subtle changes over time.
Another cause of improper fir could be tooth shifting. Maybe you haven’t been wearing your retainer as often as you should, and your teeth have started moving. If this is the case, we suggest you get a new mold of your teeth and a new replacement retainer as soon as possible in order to prevent further shifting and, worst-case scenario, the need for braces again.
You Notice Small Cracks or Damage to Your Retainer
Whether you have a retainer that is all plastic or a combination of plastic and wire, it is a good idea to carefully examine them on a regular basis. Look for cracks or any surface damage. Even the smallest crack can affect the strength of your retainer and reduce its ability to keep your teeth properly in place.
You Can’t Get Your Retainer Clean
If your retainer is looking a little dirty and sporting large areas of white buildup despite regular cleaning, chances are you have calcium, or tartar, a buildup that could be damaging your retainer.
If you haven’t been good about cleaning your retainer on a regular basis, chances are you could have calcium buildup that could be damaging your retainer. In many cases, this may require a replacement retainer, such as the Essix Plus retainers from SportingSmiles.
In addition, this added buildup creates a rough surface that can become a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing your risk of infection or illness, such as strep throat. While cleaning or soaking your retainers in vinegar may help remove the deposits, if they remain, it is time to consider a replacement.
Now this one should be obvious. If you lose or misplace your retainer (or man’s best friend decides it is a chew toy), a new retainer should be a priority. And the sooner you can replace your broken or lost retainer, the better. The longer you go without a retainer, the greater the chance your teeth will begin moving and shift out of place. It’s important to note that with proper care, most retainers will last for 2 years before you need a replacement.
Here at SportingSmiles, we don’t want to see you lose your smile to a loose or broken retainer. We will send out our patented self-impression kit for you to make a mold and then our technicians will make a replacement retainer to send back, all without the need for another dental visit. For more information, visit HERE.